The Payson Relay for Life is an annual event to help raise funds for cancer research and local programs, which benefit those fighting cancer.
The all-night event beginning at 6 p.m., Friday, June 3 at Payson High School track is also a fun activity for visitors.
While participants walk the track raising awareness about cancer, and honoring those who are either fighting cancer or have lost their lives to the disease, family members and friends are shopping, eating and listening to music.
More than 20 teams have been conducting fund-raisers and gathering donations for six months, have their final fund-raising event at the relay. Some teams sell food. Others, like the Gila County Community College ceramics class members will sell their artwork.
Last year, Payson Regional Medical Center sold a complete meal of chicken burritos, chips and salsa and a drink for $5. There are teams selling jewelry and other hand-crafted items.
The Relay for Life is a free event for visitors. The community is encouraged to attend the traditional luminary walk. The luminaries usually have names of loved ones, and other decorations, placed on them. At the event, the luminaries are placed around the track for an emotional and inspirational event on the track where the names of the survivors and lost loved ones are read aloud.
Luminaries for the Rim Country Relay for Life may be purchased for $10 at Macky’s Grill, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, KMOG radio or from any team captain for the Relay.
Purchasers are encouraged to decorate their luminaries and then return them to the location of purchase or to Ace Hardware or the Payson Public Library.
Funds from the event go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research, as well as in the community to provide educational materials, funding for wigs and college scholarships.
Last year, the Payson Relay for Life raised more than $35,000.
About Relay for Life
Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon in Tacoma, Wash., ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Since then, Relay has grown from a single man’s passion to fight cancer into the world’s largest movement to end the disease. Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in 20 other countries, gather to take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.
To learn more about event activities, call Jan Parsons at (928) 978-7606, or go to www.RimRelay.com.