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Teams sought for May 18-19 Relay for Life

Volunteers from the American Cancer Society are looking for El Cerrito, Kensington, Albany and Berkeley residents to participate in teams for 24 hours from 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 18 through 10:00 a.m, Sunday, May 19 at the El Cerrito High School track as part of the local annual Relay For Life.

The American Cancer Society sponsors 24-hour Relays in communities throughout the country to raise money to fight cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Since they began in 1985, the Relays have become the American Cancer Societyís premier community outreach program bringing thousands of volunteers into the fight against cancer. In events all over the nation, the teams raised $200 million for the organization last year.

This will be the third event sponsored in these East Bay communities. Relay organizer Janice Jordan said that the participants hope to broaden the level of participation this year and outdo the $20,000 raised last year.

Volunteers are signing up teams of 8-15 people who are sponsored to take turns running, walking or spinning a wheelchair for 24 hours around the El Cerrito High School track. Each Relay team member is asked to raise at least $100. Dozens of community members and local businesses are donating food and providing entertainment to keep the Relay moving through the night.

The event kicks off with a Survivorís Lap. At 10:15 a.m. on, Saturday, May 18, hundreds of cancer survivors and those fighting for their lives from the East Bay will take a walk around the track to honor those who have been touched by cancer and who are coming together to fight it.

Then, at 8:26 p.m. as the sun is setting on May 18, everyone will participate in a Circle of Hope. People make donations toward individual luminaries to ring the track in the names of loved ones who have lost their lives or are dealing with cancer.

The closing ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. on, Sunday, May 19.

For information about team participation and other sponsorship opportunities, as well as the survivor lap and luminaria ceremony, please contact Janice Jordan at 510-525-2608 or via the American Cancer Society web site at www.cancer.org.

Deaths from cancer in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties this year are expected to reach 4,000. New cases of cancer expected in 2002 will be 9,900. The American Cancer Society uses Relay For Life proceeds to teach people how to reduce the risk of cancer, to support people fighting the disease and to research medical cures. Approximately, 90% of the monies raised by the American Cancer Society goes to prevention, research, detection and treatment, and patient services and fundraising.

Run dates: 2002-02-20 - 2002-05-17

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