Cuyahoga Falls -- Hundreds are expected to participate in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Cuyahoga Falls next weekend at Bolich Middle School's Laybourne Field.
The Relay For Life movement is the world's largest fundraising event to save lives from cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Uniting communities across the globe, organizers celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and take action for lifesaving change.
Funds raised help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations. During Relay For Life events, members of each team take turns walking or running around the track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the time leading up to the event. Games and activities for all ages are scheduled during the day and night.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. June 3 and end at 9 a.m. June 4. Bolich Middle School is located at 2630 13th St.
An opening ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. June 3. The event will kick off by celebrating everyone who's been affected by cancer. Whether someone's been diagnosed for 10 days or been cancer-free for 10 years, they gather together for the crowd to cheer them on.
The Survivors Lap will step off at approximately 9:15 a.m. (following the opening ceremony). "Survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis," said the American Cancer Society. "Their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap. If you know anyone who's overcome cancer, invite them to join."
The Caregivers Lap will follow the Survivors Lap. The American Cancer Society each year honors the caregivers because "caring for others is such a selfless act." Caregivers often walk with the person they've supported.
One of the highlights of the event will be the annual Luminaria Service (candle lighting ceremony) which is scheduled for 9 p.m. Each Luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, someone currently battling cancer or someone who has overcome cancer.
The Luminaria "is an integral part of the Relay For Life," according to the American Cancer Society. "It is an emotion-filled and meaningful way to remember loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer and to honor cancer survivors."
Attendees should stand or sit in silence during the Luminaria Service. Luminaria may be purchased for $10 each; luminarias can also be purchased and dedicated online.
The event's closing ceremony will take place at 8 a.m. June 4. This is when everyone celebrates all they've accomplished together and remember those they've lost. "Together, we commit to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer," said the American Cancer Society.
Donations will be accepted throughout the 24-hour event, but donors can send money to the American Cancer Society, attn: Relay For Life of Cuyahoga Falls, 3500 Embassy Parkway, Suite 150, Akron, Ohio 44333. Donations for the 2017 Relay will also be accepted on the event's website at www.relayforlife.org/cuyahogafalls until Aug. 31.