Each year, the American Cancer Society asks the Verde Valley to join in the Relay for Life, a fundraising event that invites community members to stay up through the night and walk in support of cancer survivors.
This year’s Relay For Life of the Verde Valley takes place Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, at Cottonwood Middle School. Beginning at 1 p.m., relay teams check in for the event. From 6:30 p.m. on Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday, each team is expected to have one or more of its members walking the school’s track at all times in recognition of the fact that cancer never sleeps — and, thus, neither do relay teams.
According to Marissa Griffin, Relay for Life Community Manager for the American Cancer Society Great West Division, the event is already a success: “We are ahead, year to date, by $2,000, having already raised $20,500 .... We’re on track to be on goal, which is $32,000.”
Though planning the event is time- and resource-consuming, requiring six to eight months of planning each year, Griffin insisted that it is largely organized by volunteers based in the Verde Valley.
Money raised goes toward local cancer-fighting initiatives via the American Cancer Society, but also assists with national efforts. Last year, Relay For Life events raised over $400 million.
According to Griffin, 21 teams — some as small as three people, others as large as 20 — have registered for the event. Teams may register until the event, however.
“Please plan to get there early to set up your camp,” Griffin said. “You can begin setting up at 1 p.m., and we’d like to have as many campsites setup by 5:30 p.m. so it doesn’t interfere with the opening ceremonies .... Listen for the announcements to participate in various games and activities. Relay is for fun and games in addition to walking for cancer.”
Sleep is not a likely option, Griffin added, and only if participants bring eye patches and earplugs.
“This event ends at 6 a.m.,” Griffin stated. “Cancer doesn’t stop when you get tired and want to go home, break down camp, take a shower or whatever [so] please encourage your team members to keep the full relay commitment and plan to break down camp after the closing events. When teams start breaking down camps early, the energy of relay is lost.” Griffin reminded participants that the event will take place regardless of weather conditions. “Cancer cells don’t stop growing when it rains. We don’t stop fighting when it rains. Be prepared.”
To register a team, get additional information or help with next year’s relay, contact Griffin at (928) 526-7344.
|Relay For Life 2017 Itinerary|
1 p.m.: Teams check in, set up and decorate camp sites. No campsite setup from 3 to 4 p.m. due to student and school release