With 67 participants, 22 teams and $2,752 already donated, efforts to organize the 2012 Relay for Life of Ferndale are well under way. But there's still a long way to go to make the annual American Cancer Society event a success.
Those interested in getting involved – by starting a team, signing up to walk in the relay or just learning about other ways to give back – can attend a kickoff party 6 p.m. Tuesday at Taft Education Center. Guests can learn how to become a volunteer, be honored as a cancer survivor or caregiver, or bring their teammates and register as a team. Refreshments will be served and prizes will be given out throughout the evening.
The 2012 relay, which raises money for American Cancer Society, is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 9 to 10 a.m. June 10 at the Ferndale High School track.
In the overnight relay-style event, teams of people camp out around a track and members of each team take turns walking around the track for the duration of the event. Family-friendly games, food and activities are part of the fun.
In addition to raising funds to fight cancer, the event also provides support to those who have faced cancer and anyone who has lost a loved one to the disease.
According to event chair Michele Sibula, last year's relay raised $76,941 to fight cancer, beating its goal by $11,441.
"We already have 22 teams registered for our event this year and would like to get even more of our great community involved," Sibula said.
Breanne Finkelberg, community representative with the American Cancer Society, said the 2011 event had more than 20 teams and 375 participants.
"Everyone one way or another has been touched by cancer, as a community now is the time to fight back," she said. "We need to work together to create more birthdays and a world with less cancer in the hope that one day no one will ever have to hear the words, 'you have cancer.'"
Finkelberg said getting involved doesn't have to take up a significant amount of time.
"Every little bit of help counts," she said.
For more information on the kickoff meeting or the event in June, contact Sibula at firstname.lastname@example.org or Breanne Finkelberg at email@example.com or call 248-663-3412. You can also visit the 2012 Relay for Life of Ferndale website.