Event already biggest in Los Angeles County expected to break half-million dollar fundraising record.
A record 100 teams are now signed up to participate in the American Cancer Society’s 2008 SCV Relay For Life, scheduled for May 31 to June 1 at Central Park on Bouquet Canyon Road. The event drew a record 87 teams last year and the 100-team goal for 2008 has been a long-time dream for the local event, according to Team Captain Chair Brandi Newquist.
The teams will be gathering May 15 for campsite selection, which is handled by appointment according to each team’s registration date. The final monthly team captain meeting is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at Valencia Hills clubhouse and will be devoted to logistics and fine tuning the day-of-event schedule.
In addition to raising funds before the actual Relay and agreeing to keep a member on the track for the full 24-hour Relay period, teams are encouraged to host their own fund-raising activities at their campsites during the event. Teams in past years have offered prize drawings, sold food and souvenirs, and offered services to Relay walkers in an effort to raise additional funds.
This year’s overall goal for Relay is $500,000 to fund the American Cancer Society’s programs of research, education, advocacy and patient services for all types of cancer. The local Relay, already the No. 1 Relay For Life event in Los Angeles County, has been approaching the $500,000 mark for several years and this year’s record team organization is expected to push the event toward a new record.
Relay For Life is a 24-hour walking event in which teams commit to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and keep at least one member on the track for the full 24 hours in recognition of the fact that “cancer never sleeps.”
Highlight of each year’s Relay is the emotional Luminaria Ceremony, in which participants walk in silence on a darkened track lighted only by candles in luminaria bags and the candles that walkers carry. The ceremony starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, and is expected to draw thousands of participants who walk to remember cancer victims, honor cancer survivors and thank caregivers.
Teams of 8 to 15 walkers can still join this year’s SCV Relay For Life by visiting the Web site at www.scvrelay.org . Donors can also support their favorite teams and walkers by donating online through the site.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS works toward that goal by preventing cancer, saving lives from cancer, and diminishing suffering from cancer by supporting research, education, advocacy and service.
Cancer information is available 24 hours a day at www.cancer.org  or by calling (800) ACS-2345. Santa Clarita Valley Relay For Life information is available by calling 298-0886, option 3, or contacting staff member Danielle Anziano at Danielle.Anziano@cancer.org . Volunteers interested in joining the local Relay can contact the local co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org .