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RELAY FOR LIFE American Cancer Society’s annual overnight event supports all walks of life: those who have lost, those who are battling and those who have conquered

(May 10, 2013) The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is an annual all-night walk and gathering that brings together hundreds — if not thousands — of people to celebrate survivorship, remember loved ones who lost their battle with cancer and show support to those currently fighting the disease.

The 2013 North Worcester County Relay For Life is scheduled to take place this evening, May 10, at Frontier Town Campground, located off Route 611 in West Ocean City.

“First and foremost, it’s a fundraiser. The funding provides education, advocacy, research and patient services in our community,” said co-chairwoman Dawn Hodge. “It’s also a time for teams to celebrate their fundraising efforts.”

The theme for the all-night party is “Heroes of Hope … We Save Lives … Every Cancer, Every Community, Every Day.” Each team, which typically includes between eight and 15 people, will have its own campsite that members can decorate to represent the theme.

A new lap this year will honor local heroes such as fire personnel, paramedics, police officers, nurses and doctors, among others.

“We have so many heroes in this community we want to recognize,” Hodge said.

Teams may still register for a campsite. Registration begins at 4 p.m. today, Friday. Individuals are also invited to participate.

The goal for 2013 is to have 60 teams and 125 survivors participate, and to generate $165,000. According to www.relayforlife.org/northworcester, more than $96,000 had been raised as of Monday afternoon and 55 teams (approximately 337 people) had signed up for the event, which will begin tonight at 6 p.m. and continue until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

This year, participants will have until Dec. 31, to submit their final donations. Hodge encourages all participants to continue their fundraising efforts throughout the summer, fall and winter.

During the 12-hour fundraiser, mem-

bers of each team will take turns walking laps around the campground track. Hundreds of walkers will participate and help to raise money for cancer research, awareness, advocacy, patient services and educational programs in the area.

In 2012, 51 teams (approximately 400 people), including 108 survivors, took part in the race, helping to raise $140,000 (net) for the organization. During the past 15 years, North Worcester County’s Relay has donated approximately $1.6 million to the American Cancer Society.

The 2013 Relay for Life will officially begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m.

Cancer survivors will walk the ceremonial first lap of the night, the Survivors’ Lap. A reception for cancer survivors will follow.

Survivors will be joined by their caregivers and supporters for the second lap of the evening. “Heroes of Hope” will be the third lap. Team captains will walk the fourth lap. In honor of Mother’s Day, the fifth lap of the night will be dedicated to moms.

Themes for some of the other laps include “Road to Recovery” (a race around the track in a “box” car), “Man to Man Lap” (prostate cancer awareness), “Look Good Feel Better Lap (wear a wig and dress),” “Fruit & Fiber Lap,” “Nurses Pink Lap” (wear pink and breast cancer awareness attire), “SLIP, SLAP, SLOP Wrap Lap” (lifeguard relay, pass the noodle) and “Jingle Bell Lap.”

The final walk around the track will be the “Happy Birthday Lap” because the American Cancer Society believes a world with less cancer is a world with more birthdays.

Other activities scheduled throughout the night include a silent auction, scavenger hunt, talent show, BINGO, Zumba and Minute To Win It games. Many of the teams will also hold fundraisers throughout the evening.

The Luminary Ceremony of Remembrance will take place at 8:15 p.m. Luminaria, which will line the track illuminating the night, will be available to purchase from 4-7:30 p.m. Bags cost $10, and tiki torches $25.

Participants are invited to light candles in memory of, or in honor of, a loved one.

The “Fight Back Ceremony” will follow at 8:45 p.m., led by Pastor Tina Whaley of Bates United Methodist Church in Snow Hill.

The closing ceremonies will take place at 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

For more information, contact Jill Elliott or Dawn Hodge at chilly@dmv.com, dawnhodge@comcast.net or 410-430-8131, 443-497-1198 or visit www.relayforlife.org/northworcester.

People may also search Relay For Life North Worcester County Maryland on Facebook.

Approximately four million people participate annually in Relay for Life in more than 5,200 communities. Relay takes place not only in the United States, but in more than 20 countries as well.

Jean “Bean” Keagle, left, and Kathy McDaniel participate in the ceremonial first lap of the night, the Survivors’ Lap, during the 2012 North Worcester County Relay For Life last year at Frontier Town Campground in West Ocean City, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

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