IMLAY CITY — Cancer is a scary prospect, but a bevy of survivors, friends, family and others will fight back in their own way this weekend during the 11th Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Lapeer County.
"Cancer doesn't sleep and neither will we," organizer Carol Boom said.
Participants will take that to heart literally once the 24 hour event kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds.
Team members will take turns circling the track throughout the day and night. Local performers will take the stage, fun contests are planned and special ceremonies will honor survivors, caregivers and those who fell victim to the disease.
"It's really grown over the years," Boom said.
Survivors, families and friends walk track during last year’s Relay for Life. This year’s Relay kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds.
There's already a dozen more teams this year than last.
"This year's theme is 'Relay Around the World' and the teams are picking different countries to represent," she added.
Last year was the first time the relay came to Imlay City. More than $65,000 was collected then.
The community is invited to take part in the day's events too, even if they're not a part of a team. Kids can take in a movie or expend energy in a bouncehouse. A silent auction runs from 5-8 p.m. and everyone can try their hand at karaoke.
A Spanish-speaking interpreter will be on hand for the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m.
The survivors and caregivers ceremony is slated for 6 p.m. on the stage followed by the luminaria ceremony at 9:30 p.m. for those who've passed away.
The Lion's Club will start serving coffee, donuts and muffins at 7 a.m. on Sunday and there will be a church service with Pastor Jeff Krist of Gateway Assembly at 8 a.m. The closing ceremony and award presentation rounds out the day at 9 a.m.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for the Relay's media truck which will be promoting the walk throughout the county this week.
For more information about the Relay for Life, contact the American Cancer Society at (810) 733-3702 or (800) 513-9930 or visit their Web site at www.acsevents.org/relay/mi/lapeer for the complete schedule.