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Relay for Life Kick-Off

Cancer survivors walk during the survivors lap of the 2010 Relay for Life of Brandon/Ortonville. File photo. (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- Prepare to celebrate, remember, and fight back against cancer.

A Kick-Off party for the 4th annual Relay for Life of Brandon/Ortonville will start with registration and snacks at 6:30 p.m., with an hour-long program beginning at 7 p.m., March 1, at North Oaks Church, 9600 Ortonville Road.

"Kick-off brings back our familiar faces to reenergize and go into the new relay season, and we also reach out to the community and ask them to join us," said American Cancer Society Community Representative Beth Collins. "They may have heard about relay and want to know how they can be involved, or maybe you've been a team member or captain and want to get more involved in some way, whatever you can do. No matter what your time or resources, there is a way to be involved that works for you. Come out for the event and get energized."

At the kick-off party, guests will receive information about Relay for Life of Brandon/Ortonville, which is planned this year for 10 a.m., June 11 to 10 a.m., June 12 at the Brandon Schools Athletic Complex on Varsity Drive.

Relay for Life is a 24-hour walk and the American Cancer Society's signature event to raise funds and awareness for all types of cancer. Walkers typically sign up as part of a team, averaging 12-15 members, with each team having a member to represent them on the track throughout the 24 hours. Organizers have themed laps for fun that have included hula hoop, bubble, 3-legged, 70s, 80s, pajama, singalong, backwards, and Mr. Relay. The party-like atmosphere also includes a disc jockey, live musical entertainment, bounce houses, dunk tanks, clowns, volleyball, and much more.

In the evening, a touching luminaria ceremony honors those who have lost their fight to the disease.

During the kick-off celebration, attendees also see a video, and there will be recognition of cancer survivors and caregivers.

"We did apply for some awards last summer, so we may be celebrating— hint-hint," laughs Collins.

For the relay this year, organizers have chosen an event theme— "the movies." Teams that wish to participate in the theme can choose a movie, or Hollywood or the red carpet, for example. Collins will discuss the theme at kick-off, where guests can also register at the door for a prize drawing and have conversation and food before the program starts.

"We give people options of what they can do to fight back, there is no obligation and it's complimentary," said Collins. "The kick-off is an opportunity to sign up a team or join a team, or join the planning committee, be a sponsor. There are so many different ways to be involved. The important thing is you can come out and find out more about it. We want to make sure everyone knows they are welcome."

For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/brandonmi or contact Beth Collins at 248-663-3421 or email elizabeth.collinis@cancer.org.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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