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The American Cancer Society will host its first Skilay for Life at Canyons on Saturday, March 9. The event is a photo scavenger hunt that will raise funds and awareness for cancer treatment. (Image courtesy of the American Cancer Society)
Cancer is a general term for a group of more than 100 diseases and more than half of the men and 1/3 of the women in the United States will develop one of them during their lifetimes, according to the American Cancer Society.

To raise funds and spread awareness, the ACS hosts a series of organized overnight community walks that they call the Relay for Life, said Emily Milam, community relationship manager of the American Cancer Society.

"The Relay for Life is our signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society and we hold a lot of them throughout Utah," Milam told The Park Record. "But since Park City was such a unique town, with unique interests and people, we wanted to do something different up there."

So the American Cancer Society came up with the Ski-lay for Life at Canyons Resort on Saturday, March 9.

"Since skiing is huge and people visit Park City to enjoy its world-famous skiing, we thought we would use that to our advantage to raise some funds and spread some awareness on the mountain for a day," Milam said.

The Ski-lay for Life is basically a picture scavenger hunt, she explained.

"We'll have several different sponsorship posters displayed and some activities going on throughout the resort," Milam said. "Your group will use a smart phone or digital camera to take pictures of your team by these posters or doing these different activities."

Once the photos are taken, teams will send those photos via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to the ACS volunteer base at the resort's Kokopelli Ballroom in the Grand Summit Hotel.

"The staff will then average up the points, depending on the number of people who are on the team," Milam said. "Whoever has the most points at the end of the day will win some prizes.

"Teams can even save the photos on the digital camera and come to the base and show us what they took to get points," she said.

The American Cancer Society is accepting registration for Ski-lay for Life online now at www.relayforlife.org/skilayut .

"Teams can be comprised of two to 10 people, or as many friends as people can get together," Milam said. "We also have a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/skilayut , where they can get some information as well.

"People will also be able to register the day of the event by coming to the ballroom early," Milam said.

There is a $20 registration fee and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.

"Once teams register they can come to the Kokopelli Ballroom at the resort around 8:30 a.m. Canyons has been wonderful to work with and they are giving out donated ski passes for the event."

The day will officially start at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony, and end at 3 p.m.

"There will also be a silent auction held in the ballroom and people can make a bid on some of the items," Milam said.

Some of the auction items include a snowboard from Ramp Sports and some custom-made ski poles from Soul Poles.

"Backcountry.com outlets gave us a Stoic jacket to auction off and Hampton Inn, Park City Mountain Resort and Park City Hotel donated free-night stays," Milam said.

"We will also auction off some passes from Park City Mountain Resort as well."

In addition to the opening ceremony, the Ski-lay for Life will hold a remembrance ceremony sometime during the event.

"We'll hold that on top of one of the runs so teams will be able to ski to remember those they loved who had cancer, have cancer or have passed away from cancer," Milam said.

March 9 marks the first Ski-lay for Life in Utah.

"The American Cancer Society has done skiing events in the past, but this is the first scavenger/ski event," Milam said. "Also, we'll hold another event with the Paint Mixer on April 9, where we will paint pictures of purple tulips, because purple is the color of cancer awareness. We'll be holding registration for that event at the Ski-lay for Life. And teams who sign up will be eligible for an opportunity drawing prize that will be a night for two at the Paint Mixer."

Milam began volunteering at for the American Cancer Society two years ago, before she was hired as an employee last July.

"My best friend's family has been affected by cancer and was helped by the American Cancer Society, so I wanted to help the organization," she said. "They matched her up with a new treatment that helped save her life and she has been in remission for 13 years. So, I'm relaying for her family."

The American Cancer Society's Ski-lay for Life will be held at Canyons Resort on Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.relayforlife/skilayut.