On July 16 and 17, Payson will join some 2,500 other cities and towns across the country in the American Cancer Society's signature event, the Relay for Life.
It's a first for the Rim country and it's high time we joined this all-night, fund-raising, awareness-building event for cancer research.
Some of us in the news business have had an opportunity to be a part of this event in other cities and towns. The reports are glowing. The all-night community slumber parties that honor cancer survivors and their families have us teary-eyed and full of the warmth of humanity helping humanity.
We have seen cancer patients, their families, and others take to the track -- walking, wheeling, running and sitting, passing the baton from one team member to another over the 12 hours that the event encompasses.
This is not an athletic event, but it is guaranteed to warm your heart.
Teams of eight to 15 people from all over the community -- businesses, civic groups, churches and families, will be asked to raise $150 for each team member.
There is also a $10 registration fee for each member. The T-shirt that each person on the team gets becomes a treasured memento of the event.
This is how the ACS raises money for research and local programs that deal with cancer, a disease that in some way will touch us all.
The baseball field at Payson High School will turn into a tent city from 6 p.m. Friday, July 15, to 6 a.m. Saturday, July 17. The tents will be decorated, and there'll be a prize for the best one.
Cancer survivors will kick off the event by walking the first lap of the track. The event then takes off in a carnival celebration-of-life setting.
Although each city and town has its own way of putting on the Relay for Life, one very touching moment is observed by all. That's the Luminaria Ceremony, during which candle-lit luminaria bags with names of cancer victims written on them are placed around the track. Everyone walks around the track and the names are read, music is played, or cancer survivors make brief speeches.
We urge you all to get involved in some way in this first for the Rim country. Hopefully, it will be the first of many. Call 474-0185 for information.