Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Relay for Life kicks off Friday

by on May 28, 2013 10:59 AM

“How far will you go to make a difference in the fight against cancer?”

That’s the question Relay for Life of Indiana asks of its participants on its website.

According to Anne Dolinksy, of the American Cancer Society, this is the 19th year that families, businesses, hospitals, schools and organizations in Indiana County “celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and provide everyone an opportunity to fight back against the disease.”

This year, 49 teams and 548 participants have registered to be a part of the local Relay for Life, according to the Relay for Life of Indiana website, and more than $80,000 has been raised by the participants.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. Friday at the Indiana White Township Recreation Complex, and will continue through 4 p.m. Saturday. The event’s theme is “Be a Superhero, Save a Life.”

During the Relay for Life event in Indiana and at Relay events around the nation, participants camp out overnight and take turns running around a track or path.

“Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event,” Dolinski said.

Every year, according to the major Relay for Life website, events like these, held around the country and world, raise about $400 million for cancer research. Events are 24 hours in length, it says, because “cancer never sleeps.”

Local teams that have raised the most money for Relay for Life are the Gilgal Cure Crusaders with $9,330 raised, the Wonder Walkers, with $6,164 raised and United Faculty and Staff with $5,220 raised. Just behind these top three fundraisers are Team Halliburton and Diamond Drug.

In addition to normal Relay festivities, participants will have the option to take part in a cancer prevention study, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. This Epidimiology Research Program invites men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have no personal history of cancer to join.

CPS-3, another name for the study, hopes to enroll 300,000 adults nationally to participate in what the American Cancer Society calls “a historic” study.

Participants can enroll for the study between 5 and 9 p.m. at the event.

In support of the relay, the town was “painted purple” on May 17, with many local businesses still showing their support for the fight against cancer by displaying purple banners, signs and ribbons.

By participating in this year’s Relay, Dolinsky said, participants are helping celebrate the American Cancer Society’s May 22 birthday.

“The American Cancer Society celebrates 100 years of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays,” Dolinsky said. “It’s the progress we’ve made together — as a community, as volunteers, as survivors and as leaders — that has helped us reach this incredible milestone with tremendous success.”

To learn more about Relay for Life, call (800) 227-2345 or visit

Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at
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