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South End helps cancer fight

The South Whidbey community will come together for Relay for Life this Friday and Saturday.

Teams will start walking to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s research Friday afternoon on the track at South Whidbey High School. Opening ceremonies will take place at 5:30 p.m. directly before the survivor lap. The luminary ceremony is scheduled for 10 p.m. Friday, and the event closes at noon Saturday.

Relay For Life is an overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money to help the American Cancer Society save lives, help those who have been touched by cancer, and empower individuals to fight back against the disease.

During the event, teams gather at the school and take turns walking or running laps. As of press time, 12 teams and approximately 220 people registered to walk. There will be several day-of registrants, however.

Each team keeps at least one team member on the track at all times. On the sidelines additional fundraising activities go on. It is a family event and all are welcome.

Phoebe Hostick, community relationship manager for the American Cancer Society, said the relay is a celebration of life. Even if community members are unable to join through sponsorship or as members of a team this year, everyone in the South Whidbey community is welcome to watch, especially the more than 450 survivors in Island County who have been diagnosed with cancer this year alone.

“At relay, we will recognize our survivors and honor those who have lost the struggle,” Hostick said. “We hope that everyone will come join us in the celebration of life for themselves and their families loved ones and friends, as well as ours, while also enjoying games, food and activities.”

Relay is much more than a walk around a track. This year, cancer will strike more than 1.3 million Americans and will claim more than half a million lives. It is a time to remember those lost to cancer and celebrate those who have survived.

“Cancer is an issue that touches everyone,” Hostick added. “Through research, education, advocacy and local services, the American Cancer Society, supported by the tens of thousands of community volunteers, every day bring us a little closer to finding a cure.”

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