Relay For Life

Relay For Life

SEPT 30 | 10AM-10PM | O’Brien Park

Join a team! Create a team! Volunteer! Donate! Cancer never sleeps, go to and join the fight!

In May of 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours round and round a track at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, to help raise awareness and much needed funds in order to help save lives from cancer. Over thirty years later, Relay for Life events have become the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, with more than 5,200 volunteers coordinating events in 27 countries around the world. On Saturday, September 30th, from 10am-10pm at O’Brien Park, you can be a part of Parker’s Relay for Life, and a part of something so much bigger than yourself.

The Relay for Life is a team-fundraising event in which participants take turns walking a track or designated path, with a teammates collectively walking throughout the duration of the 6-24 hour event. The design of this event is significant, with one teammate constantly on the course, members of Relay for Life teams are a reminder that “cancer never sleeps” and those fighting this disease don’t stop because they are tired – and for one day &/or night, neither do those raising funds for a cure with Relay for Life. Teams will often pick a theme and set up themed sites at the event to continue their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games and activities. All money raised goes towards their overall team fundraising goal.

If this is your first Relay, expect to see all participants and teams welcomed, followed by the event’s kick off with the Survivor’s Lap. Cancer survivors and those currently affected by cancer will walk the track to the sounds of cheers and exuberant support from everyone in attendance. Next, the Caregiver lap recognizes those providing support for their loved one(s) during treatment. After the Survivors and Caregivers have completed their symbolic laps, the teams take the track to begin the celebration. Throughout the day and night, members of each team will take their turn on the walk, while teammates not walking participate in games, activities and entertainment. As evening falls, the decent into darkness is symbolic of the fear patients face upon receiving their diagnosis. After sunset, Luminarias will be lit to celebrate survivors, to remember those who are no longer with us, and remind those still courageously fighting that they are not alone. Closing ceremonies conclude each event, but Relay for Life will remain a constant year after year, until cancer is no more.

Thirty years ago, the $27,000 Gordy Klatt raised and the more than 83 miles he covered paved the way for what has grown into the Relay for Life, which has continued, year after year, raising funds for cancer research. Sadly, Dr. Klatt passed away three years ago from heart failure after battling stomach cancer but his idea helped shaped a movement that has since become a global event, raising over $5 billion dollars and bringing survivors and supporters together to form a support network like no other.

Cancer has tragically managed to get its grips on us all. Whether you’ve had a loved one battle this tenacious disease or you’ve faced it yourself, being a part of Relay for Life helps brings everyone together to fight the same fight. Join a team, create a team, volunteer or donate online – go to

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