Buckley Relay coming

“More birthdays” is the theme for this year’s American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life fundraisers and Buckley’s celebration kicks off Friday and continues through the night into Saturday.

Relay For Life is a fundraising event where teams take turns walking, raising awareness about cancer and money toward finding a cure.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. Closing ceremonies are scheduled for noon Saturday. The event takes place along the Buckley trail on South River Avenue near the skate board park.

Cancer survivors are the guests of honor and the reason participants relay. The Survivors Lap is an example of how Relay participants are creating a world with more birthdays and survivors will circle the route in a celebration of their victories over cancer.

Relay is also a time to remember with the Luminaria Ceremony, which is scheduled for 10 p.m. Friday.

After dark, participants remember loved ones lost to the disease. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence.

Last, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where participants make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer. Not only in awareness, but financially.

Buckley’s 2009 Relay for Life raised more than $83,000, and earned the American Cancer Society’s Pacesetter award. It was the only Relay among 25 from the Tacoma office to earn the honor.

This year, 30 teams are expected to participate.

The biggest fundraising team to date is Ohana VIII with more than $7,000. The Hungry Housewives follow at $3,000. The Glacier Grizzlies, Falcons for the Fight and the Buckley Fire Department are running third, fourth and fifth with around $2,700.

The weekend’s fundraising begins Thursday night with a multi-event fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. at Wilkeson Elementary School, where there will be a chili feed and bingo for $5 a person and a cake decorating contest.

The cake decorating contest is for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students should bring a decorated cakes, covered in plastic wrap to the school gym Thursday morning. Dinner attendees will vote for their favorite cake. There will be a silent auction, too.

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