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Family fun funds the fight

Lake Orion Relay for Life set for June 5

May 26, 2010 - Imagine a world with more birthdays.

The American Cancer Society's Lake Orion Relay for Life is helping to make it happen.

Participants at last year's relay. File photo (click for larger version)
That's the word from Jennifer Smith, this year's event chair.

On June 5, over 400 participants will lace up to walk the track at Friendship Park for 24 hours.

During that time, said Smith, participants will celebrate those who are cancer survivors, remember those who we have lost a battle with the disease, and educate how to fight back with healthy lifestyles.

"Our teams have been working hard at raising funds for the American Cancer Society," she said, citing bowling tournaments, car washes, and bottle drives were just a few of the fundraising events that took place in the Lake Orion area recently.

In addition, most teams will hold fundraisers—bounce houses, dunk tanks, pony rides, and face painting, for example—at Friendship Park on June 5.

The Lake Orion Relay for Life is open to the public; admission is free.

The day's events include Opening Ceremonies at 10 a.m., with all teams lining up and starting the 24-hour clock.

Why 24 hours? Because cancer never sleeps and neither will Relay.

Registration begins at noon for the Survivor Ceremony at 12:30 p.m. During this event, participants cheer survivors and caregivers as they walk a lap together.

"Relay welcomes all cancer survivors out to this amazing celebration," said Smith. "At Relay for Life they believe a person is a Survivor from the day of diagnosis."

At 2 p.m. the auction gets underway. Open to the public, auction items include sports memorabilia, gift cards, gift baskets, jewelry, and many other items.

The Fight Back Ceremony begins at 7 p.m. -

Shelly Burton and her 5-year-old daughter Nicole speak about how their family has fought back against Nicole's cancer.

"People then commit to fighting back against cancer by changing their lifestyles to healthier eating, daily exercise, or other healthy choices," said Smith.

By 10 p.m. the track is lined with Luminaria bags, decorated in honor of those who have won their battle, in support of those still going through treatments, and in memory of those we have lost to the disease. All activities stop and all participants and visitors walk a silent lap to reflect on each life that has been touched by cancer.

But then the event swings into full gear with an all night dance party, field games, mission delivery coffee house, a 5 a.m. breakfast, and sunrise service.

It all wraps up at 9 a.m. with closing ceremonies and awards.

For further information on the event please visit or contact Event Chair Jennifer Smith at .

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