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Clarksville Relay for Life set Friday / April 24, 2013
This Friday, the newly restored Robbins Park will be the site of the Clarksville Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Teams will take turns walking or running around a track at the park for several hours as a reminder that cancer never sleeps.

The Relay is more than just a reminder, it is also a time to celebrate those who fought and won their battle with cancer, just as it is a remembrance of loved ones lost.

Whether you have cancer, care for someone with cancer, or know someone with or who died from the disease, you are encouraged to attend the Clarksville Relay for Life.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a dinner for cancer survivors at the Clarksville Community Center. The reception is sponsored by St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. If you would like to attend, please call Elsie Burwell at 374-2660.

At 6 p.m., people will begin to gather at Robbins Park for the actual relay. Opening ceremonies begin, with the “survivors lap” at 7 p.m. The Luminaria ceremony runs from 8:30 p.m. until dark. Luminarias are lit in honor and memory of all who are fighting and have fought cancer. During the relay, which runs from 6 p.m.-midnight, each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times.

Throughout the evening there will be music sponsored by Carter Music and Art School, food and games.

Relay for Life began in the mid-1980s, when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed — running marathons.

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer from the nearly 300 friends, family, and patients who watched as he ran and walked the course.

As he circled the track that first year, Klatt envisioned a 24-hour team relay event. Months later, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay. In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event, and raised $33,000.

According to the American Cancer Society, the Relay for Life is more than just a fundraiser. A life-changing experience represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Relay schedule of events:

Pure Country - Country/ Gospel. Concert starting around 6 p.m. and playing about five sets.

7 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies

After this Refraction - rock band, about five sets

The Arise Praise band from Clarksville Baptist Church

The Band Brown

Plus, many soloists, groups and performers

Special guests: E.E.T., a capella vocal group, and D.J. “ Z “

Duration: until midnight Friday.

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