Alpena County

Relay For Life 24-hour event first weekend in August | News, Sports, Jobs



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Participants in the 2022 Relay For Life walk around the track at the Alpena County Fairgrounds. This year’s 24-hour event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5.


ALPENA — The 24-hour Relay For Life walking event is back at the Alpena County Fairgrounds this year, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, and wrapping up at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6.

Relay For Life of Northeast Michigan is aiming to raise $90,000 this year through sponsorships and donations to fund cancer research through the American Cancer Society.

The event has been scaled back for at least five years, but it is now back in full swing with the 24-hour Relay fundraiser.

“We did a couple of 12-hour events, then COVID hit, then last year was a 12-hour,” said Event Lead Annie Hepburn, adding that they are excited to return to the 24-hour format. “Relay for Life is a fundraising event to raise funds for research. They also help with transportation.”

She said the cause is dear to her heart.

“I’ve had many loved ones touched by cancer,” Hepburn said. “Some are survivors, and some have passed on. But, just the celebration of the survivors and their caregivers to kick off the event is just very touching to see how many people are survivors. And then, the luminaria event, when we read all the names in memory of and in honor of, and we see all the bags lit up, it’s just a very emotional and touching ceremony. If you’ve never been to Relay, it’s just very inspiring.”

For 24 hours, participants representing cancer survivors and those touched by cancer will walk laps around the track at the fairgrounds, showing their support for cancer research, treatment, and lifting up survivors on their cancer journey.

Survivors will be recognized twice during the event — first at 11 a.m. following the opening ceremony with a survivor/caregiver lap, and again at 5 p.m. with a survivor celebration. Survivors are encouraged to register prior to the event to ensure they will receive a T-shirt. Please register online at www.RelayForLife.org/NEMI or by calling 1-800-227-2345 and selecting option #4.

Many of the laps will be themed at different times throughout the event. Themed laps include: Silly String Lap at 2 p.m., Crazy Socks Lap at 3 p.m., Bubble Lap at 4 p.m., and Purple Lap at 6 p.m.

Music will be provided the whole 24 hours by DJ Rex, food by Hilltop Concessions, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, ice cream, water, chips, a Plinko game, and lap beads for 24 hours.

After dark, luminaria will be lit and lining the track for a moving ceremony at 9:30 p.m. to honor the memory of those who have passed, and to celebrate the strength of those who are still fighting cancer today. Luminaria are $10 each, and can be purchased in honor or in memory of anyone who has ever battled cancer. To purchase a luminaria in advance, visit the Alpena Senior Citizens Center or ask a Relay For Life team participant.

Hepburn said teams and individuals can still sign up to participate, and anyone can come to the event.

In addition to the Relay For Life event, an online auction is currently underway, featuring a variety of high-quality items and gift certificates to bid on. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. To participate in the online auction, which ends July 28, click on the link at the Relay For Life of Northeast Michigan home page.

The Alpena County Fairgrounds are located at 625 S. 11th Ave., Alpena. Find more information on the Relay For Life of Northeast Michigan Facebook page.

Hepburn added that Alpena residents and business owners are encouraged to decorate their homes/businesses in purple the week leading up to the Relay to show support by participating in their “Paint the Town Purple” campaign.



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