Relay for Life is an annual event done around the globe, and events can last up to 24 hours because “cancer never sleeps,” according to the official website for the event. Money goes to research for international cancer research groups, including the American Cancer Society for the United States.
The local fundraising event will be a 12-hour one, with an opening ceremony at 5 p.m., followed by a cancer survivors’ dinner, and lasting until 5 a.m. Other events include a luminary ceremony at 7 p.m., a live auction, inflatables for children and food. The event is open to anyone who wants to participate.
According to the Relay for Life website, the top teams currently are Coldwell Banker VIP Realty with $1,898, Jennie Rogers Elementary School with $1,570 and Danville Family Physicians with $1,400. The top participants are Shannon Mason with $513, Jaymie Ross with $320 and Peggy Waldoch with $219.
Debbie Lowe, chairwoman for the event and a 15-year breast cancer survivor, said there are multiple activities going on around town to raise money, including auctions, selling of candy bars, yard sales and Flamingo Flocking.
Flamingo Flocking, which ends in August, is a game between volunteers of Relay for Life and involves placing a fake flamingo in the front yard of someone they know. The flamingo will have a message congratulating the person and telling them their friend paid a certain amount of money to have the flamingo put in their yard. The person must then pay a certain amount to have it moved, or can buy insurance to get out of paying but still have it moved to another yard.
Since the theme for this year’s Relay for Life is Paint the Town Purple, local businesses, including Danville Office Equipment and Coldwell Banker, have decorated their storefronts with purple.
Lowe, whose two sisters, a niece and late co-worker, have all had cancer, knew that she needed to help with the cause in any way she could.
“We have to do something to turn a negative into a positive,” she said. “I just try to do all I can to help others that have been touched by cancer.”