Superheroes will don capes and masks and take to the athletic field Saturday for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
ACS's signature fundraiser will bring teams to the school's stadium to set up themed campsites, games and craft and bake sales. At least one member of each team will walk the stadium track at all times, from the start of the relay at 2 p.m. Saturday until its end about 7 a.m. Sunday. The public is invited to attend through the evening.
Cancer-fighting superheroes is the theme of this year’s event, said Stephanie Hubbard, ACS's senior community manager.
“They are superheroes in the fight against cancer in their fundraising,” she said.
Nancy Coulter of Germantown is captain of the largest team in the event, the 34-person Reiser’s Relayers. The name honors her stepfather, Dave Reiser of Gaithersburg, who is now fighting the disease for a third time. He will be there in his Superman cape, Coulter said.
Reiser was diagnosed with kidney cancer three years ago. Eight months later, after he thought that was cleared up, doctors diagnosed a sarcoma, Coulter said.
“After that, I wanted to do something more,” she said. “I was about to send off a donation to the cancer society when I found out about 'Relay.' It feels like something more I could do than just rattle off a check.”
Last year, their first in the relay, the team of 13 raised $2,000. For Rockville’s 16th annual relay, the enlarged team has raised $12,000 so far, Coulter said.
“It just took some creativity on our part to find some ways to raise money,” she said.
That included fundraising at restaurants and recycling cell phones.
Coulter is part of this year’s planning committee, in charge of the entertainment.
Event Technology of Gaithersburg is donating disc jockeys and music all day, she said. There will be Zumba, karate and yoga demonstrations. Men will compete in a Miss Relay contest, she said. A silent auction will feature vacation getaways and a hot air balloon ride, Hubbard said.
of Silver Spring—for the 10th year—is donating a luncheon before the relay begins for survivors and their caregivers. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. and all survivors and their caregivers are invited to the luncheon and to walk the first lap around the track.
At 9 p.m., candles will be lit in honor or in memory of those who have fought cancer. The luminaria ceremony will conclude with a slide show of the faces of people who have fought cancer, Coulter said.
Relay for Life began in 1985 in Tacoma, WA, when Dr. Gordon Klatt walked and ran around a track with friends for 24 hours to raise money for the cancer society.
More than 5,200 relays have since raised more than $4.5 billion, according to the ACS Web site. The money is used for research, a 24-hour cancer hotline, patient services and patient and survivor support groups, said Bob Paschen, ACS’s regional director of marketing.
The Rockville relay drew 45 teams and raised $110,000 last year. Although only 35 teams registered this year, the expectation is they will raise $112,000, Hubbard said.