Relay for Life ready to kick-off | ParkRecord.com

Relay for Life ready to kick-off

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

Any runner that has ever been part of a relay can attest to its significance — many runners, one race.

It’s the one event where individual accomplishments become part of a team effort where mutual trust, encouragement and hope determine ultimate success for everyone involved.

Park City’s fourth annual Relay for Life, just one event in a string of nationwide gatherings to help the American Cancer Society raise money, to find a cure, is built on the same principle. The event, which will be held June 17-18, is the biggest one yet in the area. According to Park City event chair Melissa Kyle Flinn, because almost everyone has been somehow touched by cancer, they walk with one common goal of hope, support and a cure.

Flinn says that the event continues to grow considerably each year. This year, she has set a goal to raise $50,000 more than last year, because the response and enthusiasm to the event has been so strong.

True to the relay format, the Relay for Life is built by teams. Businesses, families and friends are encouraged to gather a group together and enter the all-night event as a team. Individuals are matched up with a team once they register. Team members take turns throughout the night, so someone is always walking.

Tents will be set up throughout the area so people may alternate between sleeping and walking.

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The relay is both a celebration and a solemn remembrance of life.

Over the two days, there will be food, music and fun activities for children. Teams are encouraged to develop a theme, wear festive costumes and decorate their tents. Flinn says that people interested can stop by at anytime during the event to see what the relay is all about.

"Everyone is welcome," Flinn said.

Throughout the event, time will be taken to honor cancer survivors and remember those who lost their lives to the disease. The festivities begin with an opening ceremony, where cancer survivors and their caregivers take the first lap to start off the relay. Later in the evening, luminaries are lit and placed around the track in honor and memory of cancer victims. After a silent lap, the luminaries stay light throughout the night.

"Everyone thinks it’s a fun event, but it gives them a chance to reflect on it," Flinn said. "Most people are doing it for someone."

Flinn became involved with the Relay for Life as a team member. Her family decided to participate three years ago, and she was instantly hooked. The next year she became a board member and has chaired the event the last two years. Both of her parents are cancer survivors, her grandmother is currently fighting the disease and her grandfather died from cancer

"It was one of those things that affected my life, so I got involved," Flinn said.

Anyone interested is encouraged to sign up. Teams and individuals may visit the Park City relay website at http://www.parkcityrelay.org . Those who cannot attend the event may make a donation to participating teams or make a general donation on the site. Donations to make a luminary may be completed online or at the event. Heber will be hosting its own Relay for Life the following weekend for anyone who misses the Park City event.

For more information about the nationwide Relay for Life or other cancer-related topics, visit the American Cancer Society website at http://www.cancer.org .

The Relay For Life will be held at the North 40 field on June 17 at noon to June 18 at 8 a.m.