BEND, Ore. - "100 years of Making Hope Happen" is the theme selected for the 2013 Relay for Life of Bend/Redmond/Sisters at its Kickoff event Thursday. The theme honors the sponsoring American Cancer Society's 100th birthday this year.
The Kickoff came with the announcement of accelerated fund-raising goals for the 2013 Relay, scheduled for August 10 and 11 on the track at High Desert Middle School.
Last year the local volunteer-run event raised more than $130,000, a 55% increase over 2011, which earned it the "Explosive Growth Award" among Relay for Life groups in the Western Region.
This year the committee has set a goal to raise $220,000, and to more than double the number of teams participating. This growth has put Relay for Life among the top fund-raising events in Central Oregon.
Relay for Life is not a race. Teams compete in raising funds to fight cancer, and join together at Relay to celebrate cancer survivors, and remember loved ones who lost the battle. Relay encourages each team to have at least one member on the track for the entire 24 hours of the event. While many participants are members of a team, the entire Bend/Redmond/Sisters community is invited to be a part of Relay, whether joining teams on the track or attending the moving Opening, Closing or Luminaria Ceremonies.
Started in May, 1985 by Tacoma colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordon Klatt, who walked the track at University of Puget Sound for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life is now an international event. More than $2.6 billion have been raised in Relay for Life's fight against cancer since 1985.
For information on sponsorship, team registration and individual participation contact Relay for Life committee co-chairs Ron Broaddus (RFL@earthlink.com or 541-639-9860) and Phyllis Mageau (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 541-948-0047), or Stefan Myers, Community Relationship Manager, American Cancer Society (Stefan.Myers@cancer.org or 541-977-5764.)