Craig residents participate in the opening survivors lap during the 2011 Relay for Life event at the Moffat County High School track. This year’s charitable endeavor, which benefits the American Cancer Society, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the MCHS track.

File Photo

Craig residents participate in the opening survivors lap during the 2011 Relay for Life event at the Moffat County High School track. This year’s charitable endeavor, which benefits the American Cancer Society, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the MCHS track.

Relay for Life scheduled for Friday

If you go…

What: Craig Relay for Life

When: Tonight and Saturday

Where: Moffat County High School track, 900 Finley Lane

— The two-day charitable event, which benefits the American Cancer Society, starts at 6 p.m. today and will run through until Saturday morning as participants circle the track. The festivities include live music, games, food and other activities. All community members are welcome to participate. For more information, visit craigrelayforlife... or call 276-4770.

Walking in a circle repeatedly for hours might not be very enjoyable for someone who’s all by themselves.

However when you’re among friends, family and other fellow community members, the physical exertion is lessened by both the camaraderie and the knowledge the laps are helping to change lives.

The 2012 Craig Relay for Life will take place tonight and Saturday at the Moffat County High School track, 900 Finley Lane.

The two-day event is a celebration of life, honoring those who have survived cancer, paying tribute to those who have passed away from the disease and joining together to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Sarah Blakeslee, Relay community relations manager, said more than 170 local participants from 16 teams are planning to attend after spending months raising money through various benefits.

“It’s really a community event, and it’s fueled by volunteers, which is what makes it so great, I think,” she said.

The funding for cancer research in Colorado includes more than $7 million brought in by ACS.

In 2011, the local Relay for Life raised more than $20,000.

Blakeslee said the fundraising goal for Relay this year is $50,000.

“We’ve still got a lot of money yet to come in, so hopefully we’ll hit that,” she said.

The local Relay begins with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. tonight, followed by the survivors lap, as people who have lived through cancer make their way around the track.

Their caretakers follow suit on the next lap, and the rest of the crowd joins in from there, with the process continuing through Saturday morning.

While participants circle the track, others can enjoy a number of activities throughout the night, such as live music from the John Wayne Band, dancing, a silent auction, various contests and more.

Those walking will also get the chance to join in special laps, skipping, doing the hula dance or limboing as they go step by step.

The walking process signifies the experience of one diagnosed with cancer — physically exhausting, but helped along with support from loved ones, ultimately to a light at the end of the tunnel in the best cases.

The luminaria ceremony, involving specially adorned lights in paper sacks, will honor those who have struggled with cancer.

Though its her first year helping organize, Blakeslee has been involved with Relay for several years, inspired to do so after losing a cousin to lymphoma.

“I think it’s something that affects everyone, and we’re all fighting for treatments for our family and for our friends, and (Relay) is all spread out so now everyone has friends everywhere,” she said.

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