Rockford Relay for Life begins Friday at 3 p.m. at NRMS

Since Rockford’s first Relay for Life in 2003, this little town’s event has become one of the most successful Relays in the nation.

The American Cancer Society 24-hour fund raiser is really a year round event, with teams coming up with creative and fun ways to raise donations and awareness.

This year’s Relay celebration begins at 3 p.m. Friday, May 21 at North Rockford Middle School. The theme for this year is Rockin’ Relay, so visitors can expect music-themed tents and events.

In the last seven years Relay, through community, school and city support, has become an amazing story of generosity and determination. To date the event has raised over $2 million and each year, with the exception of 2009, the totals have risen. Compare Rockford’s 2009 total of $340,000 raised to fight cancer to other communities that held Relays on the same day. Wyoming raised $106,000, East Grand Rapids raised $58,000 and Comstock Park raised $53,000.

The magic of Relay is not a dollar figure, but the passion represented by these figures. A first-time visitor to Relay will feel the excitement in the air for a cause that literally does touch every life. Among the most moving events in a 24-hours full of events is the 9 p.m. Luminaria ceremony representing those who have fought cancer and the survivors walk at noon on Saturday.

Take the time to experience Relay for Life this year, whether to remember a loved one who has battled cancer, or to show your support of those working for a cure.

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