Months of work to assist cancer victims will all come together this weekend when Relay For Life returns for an all-night community event at the Churchill County Middle High School.
The area’s largest fundraising event kicks off Saturday at 5 p.m., when teams of participants embark on the middle school track and continue their until the final lap early Sunday morning. Various activities, including performing bands, are scheduled from start to finish, according to event chairperson Lacey Lehman.
“I think we have a great event happening Saturday with lots of activities for the community to come and enjoy,” Lehman said. “We’ve just had amazing teams come out this year that have really embodied the Relay spirit. They’ve done some amazing things for our survivors.”
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s annual fight against cancer. Participants remember those who died from cancer and honor those who have fought the disease and won. More than 4 million people in more than 20 countries raise funds and awareness for the war against cancer, according to the relayforlife.org website.
“We push really hard from January up until June,” Lehman said. “Teams sign up, they raise funds, and just do amazing things in order to reach our goal, which this year is $60,000.”
Prospects to exceed that goal are promising based on fundraising efforts to date, she added.
“We’re actually trending just under $10,000 ahead of where we were last year,” Lehman said. “So I’m extremely optimistic that we’re going to blow our goal out of the water.”
Relay For Life represents more than raising funds. It’s about supporting those who have been touched by cancer. Among the highlights Saturday night, for example, Fallon resident Tim Wuth will speak as a caregiver whose young son is currently waging a fight against cancer.
“We’re really excited to have him share his story because the caregivers and survivors are what the Relay is all about,” Lehman said. “We want to rally around them and their family and make sure they understand Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society and Fallon care there to support them through that journey.”
Her involvement in Relay for Life the last four years is special since her own father, Stan Lehman, is a cancer survivor.
“I started with Relay actually because of my dad,” said Lehman, who grew up in Fallon and returned after college to raise her own family. “When you’ve been touched by cancer, whether it’s your friends, family or yourself, you start to understand how important fighting back to eliminate cancer in any way possible is just so incredibly important.”