This year will mark Relay for Life’s 20th anniversary in Cache Valley, starting July 8 at noon and going through the night until noon the next day. Members of the community are invited to come out and support teams as they walk for 24 hours to raise money for cancer. Participants will walk the track at Smithfield’s Blue Sox Field.With at least 606 people participating, and $62,398 already raised, the 24 hour relay is well on its way to earning its goal of $100,000. Event Chair, Roger Barker, said he is expecting to raise double the amount already raised at the actual event. From auctioning off gift cards and a mobile home to making breakfast, there will be plenty of opportunities for participants and spectators to help reach that goal. Barker said every penny earned at the event will be going toward cancer research.Barker said at least one team member will be walking during the 24 hour event at all times. Barker told Dave Denton in an interview on KOOL 103.9 that these teams have held fundraisers all year long. Baker added that there will be many chances for the public to make a donation and get great deals with the Relay For Life silent auction and opportunity drawings.”Thousands of things have been donated and there’s a lot of really neat things,” he said. “I know last year we had a bunch of (things), like a motel room stay and a dinner and then a movie. So there’s some great gift packages as far as like a dinner date kind of thing and a lot of other things in this that people can go and bid. “A lot of times you get them for about a third of the price that you’d actually pay for them if you went and bought it right out.”The Relay for Life will start at noon on Friday and end Saturday at noon, with a survivor’s dinner Friday evening at 6 p.m.Sean Jones, one member of Team Carri, said Relay gives him and his family a chance to reminisce and enjoy the memories they have of their oldest sister who passed away from a brain tumor in 2008. The support from the community during that time is another reason why his family felt like they should participate.”I see it as a way to give back to community that showed so much support to our whole family, and being able to raise money for a charity like the Cancer Society is a great honor,” he said.Each team participating in Relay for Life has spent at least the past six months raising money for the cause. Last year Cache Valley teams raised $80,000, part of the $386 million that was raised across the nation. Barker said 80-90 percent of that money goes toward cancer research, and 70 percent of that number goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute right here in Utah.”One of the better parts of this for us is that a lot of the money stays here locally,” Barker said.Team Carri has raised over $1500 and Jones said the public can benefit from coming out and supporting the Relay this weekend.”It’s a great cause, there are very, very, very few people who have not been affected by cancer,” Jones said. “I would dare say nobody has been not effected, if that makes sense.”On July 8, team members set up their camps around the track and started walking. The goal is to have at least one team member on the track for the whole 24 hour period. Barker said there will be a lot of games and fun set up for families. He said it is a chance for the community to give thanks and credit to people who are helping raise money for cancer.”We are trying to set this up so it is appealing to everyone, not just the participants, I would love to see the whole valley show up,” he said.It is also a chance for people to help reach the goal of $100,000 since most of the team members have “tapped themselves out,” Barker said.
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