TODAY, the island community will gather for Relay for Life to celebrate and honor those who have fought, survived or lost the battle against cancer. The event will be held at the George Washington High School track field.
From 7 p.m. Friday, May 25 to 7 a.m. Saturday, May 26, families, businesses and groups across the island will participate in the annual event organized by the American Cancer Society.
Relay for Life Chairman Joe Rios said the event will start off with an opening ceremony at 7 p.m., followed by a Caregiver and Survivor Victory Lap at 7:15 p.m.
Parking and Road Closures
- Washington Drive and Dormitory Lane will be closed from 4 to 10 p.m.
- Only resident traffic will be allowed to go through Washington Drive.
- Cancer survivors will have reserved parking along Dormitory Lane.
- Accessible parking will be available along Dormitory Lane.
“We have over 400 survivors and caregivers who will start their victory lap at 7:15 p.m. and over 85 teams that will be parading around the track for the parade of teams at 7:30 p.m.,” Rios added.
Starting at 9 p.m., the lights at GW will be turned off to highlight the thousands of luminaria bags representing a family member, friend or co-worker who survived or lost the fight against cancer. Each bag has a name, photo, or personal message for the person being honored.
“It is the most memorable ceremony at the event. We start off with an opening introduction to what the luminaria ceremony is and we’ll also have live music from Shannon McManus and Richard Vergara,” according to ACS Community Manager Tina Noket.
This year, ACS will be setting up a canopy over the luminaria stage to protect and preserve bags against the elements.
Noket said the silence and the glowing lights really help create a solemn atmosphere where folks can reminisce, remember and celebrate.
“While we remember those that we have lost, the lights also offer hope to those who are continuing their journey with cancer,” Noket said.
The luminaria ceremony will be followed by a Fight Back ceremony at 10 p.m., followed by on-site activities and entertainment from 11 p.m. up to 6 a.m. the following morning. At around 6:30 a.m., there will be a final team lap and then a closing ceremony at 7 a.m.
For those who haven’t purchased a luminaria bag, there will be bags available at the ACS tent for $20 dollars each.