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The race is on for teams to participate in Juneau's second American Cancer Society Relay For Life. The annual event is slated for July 19 at Dimond Park, near Riverbend Elementary School in the Mendenhall Valley. According to Cheri Kunz, team recruitment co-chairwoman, the event will run from 3 p.m. on July 19 to 6 a.m. on July 20.
"Volunteers are needed to form teams of eight to 20 individuals," Nicki Germain, team co-chair said. Cancer survivors Nicki Germain, Pat Yearty and Tish Griffin-Satre are already lining up team members for this year's event. Ruth Johnson, captain of one of three Wells Fargo teams, participates because her mother "has survived three occurrences of cancer and is 77 years strong."
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska is sponsoring a youth team captained by Natalie Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi walks for a good friend, a cancer survivor, and her father, who died of cancer 10 years ago. Glenda Palmer and Lisa Corcoran co-captain a team since they have shared being mothers of children with cancer.
The relay is a family-oriented event in which participants will walk, run, exercise their dog or push the baby stroller in shifts around the track for 15 hours. Participants are invited to camp out in designated areas around the track and, when they are not taking their turn, enjoy a variety of entertainment activities. Individuals, families and teams from companies and other organizations are invited to take part in this exciting event. Team participants collect donations and can win prizes for their efforts. Teams also hold fund-raisers for the relay. Garage sales organized by teams will be held at 8:30 a.m. May 31, at 6744 Gray Street, and June 21 at the Parkshore Condominium Clubhouse.
A highlight of the event is the midnight candle-lighting ceremony in memory of those who have lost the battle with cancer, or in honor and support of those who have survived. Luminaria candles can be personalized by donations to the American Cancer Society. Luminaria will be available from team members, at the garage sales and at the event.
Other sponsors supporting the event are The Competitive Edge Office Systems and Mark S. Riederer.
However enjoyable the relay is, the main thrust of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life is to increase awareness of the fight against cancer and to raise money to find a cure. The money received from the nationwide American Cancer Society Relays helps fund cancer research, education, community service programs and legislative advocacy.
For more information on teams, contact Nicki Germain (364-4663) or Cheri Kunz (586-2188) or go to www.alaska.net/~lutchanl. To be a corporate sponsor, contact Kym Mauseth at 796-3353.