Relay for Life organizers look to beat last year’s goal
By RACHEL BRANT
Bremerton Patriot Staff writer
June 18, 2009 · Updated 5:27 PM
Hundreds will descend upon the Central Kitsap High School (CKHS) track in Silverdale next weekend to spend 24 hours showing their support for the American Cancer Society.
The Bremerton/Central Kitsap Relay for Life begins at noon Saturday, June 27 and continues until noon Sunday, June 28.
“There’s going to be 24 hours of entertainment to keep people energized and going for the full 24 hours,” Relay co-chair Tim Roller said.
Roller and his wife, Jana, are again serving as co-chairs of the Bremerton/Central Kitsap event and participated in numerous Relays before becoming event chairs a few years ago.
Rep. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard) will speak during the opening ceremony on Saturday followed by the Survivors Lap, which is dedicated to people who have survived cancer.
The traditional Luminary Ceremony is Saturday night and people walk two special laps as lighted bags circle the track honoring people who have died or survived cancer.
Roller said Bremerton/Central Kitsap Relay for Life participants raised $165,000 last year and this year’s teams are “beating the streets” to raise lots of money for the American Cancer Society.
“We’re hoping to meet or beat ($165,000) this year,” Roller said. “The teams are out there now raising money. They’re working really hard to raise that money.”
He said the Kitsap County Relay for Life events raised about half-a-million dollars last year, one of the highest sums of money raised in the 12 states that make up the Great West region.
“We’re up there,” Roller said. “Kitsap County is a top money-raiser in the region.”
For the first time in years, the American Cancer Society is enrolling people to participate in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). The long-term study will help researchers better identify various factors, including lifestyle, environmental and genetic, that cause or prevent cancer.
“It’s kind of a lifestyle survey,” Roller said.
From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at the CKHS track, people ages 30-65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer can sign up to participate in the study.
“There’s only going to be one in the county and we’re hosting it,” Roller said. “It’ll be the biggest tent on the field.”
Roller said people will complete a survey and have blood drawn that day. They will continue to receive surveys through the mail for an extended period of time.
Roller said the American Cancer Society did a cancer prevention study about 40 years ago and linked smoking to cancer.
“This study is a good thing,” he said.
Roller said Relay for Life is a wonderful event because many people’s lives have been affected by cancer and people want to donate money in hopes of someday curing the deadly disease.
“It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been affected by cancer,” Roller said. “When a family’s hit with cancer, it’s pretty devastating.”
People can continue to sign up for Relay for Life until the day of the event.
“If you can’t get enough folks together to participate on a team, you can register as an individual participant,” Roller said. “We encourage people to come on out and join us at the track.”
For more information or to register for Relay for Life, visit www.relayforlifeofbremerton.org.