The 15th annual Santa Clarita Valley Relay for Life is coming to Central Park, from 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.
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This 24-hour event is the third largest Relay in California, bringing in close to $500,000 for the American Cancer Society each year to fund cancer research, education, services and legislation in the continuing fight against cancer.
There are many ways that members of the community can participate in this event, including raising money and gathering a team to keep at least one person walking on the track for the entire 24 hours. There will also be raffles, giveaways, food, games, prizes and many other activities.
Luminaria (paper bags holding candles) that will line the track at night can also be purchased in honor of a loved one or in support of a cancer survivor. All proceeds will benefit American Cancer Society and can be designated for a team or individual to help them reach their fundraising goal.
This year’s Luminaria ceremony, held at 9 p.m. in honor of those affected cancer, will celebrate the life of Heather Warrick, known as the “Cancer Princess,” who lost her battle to cancer on Feb. 1. The dedicated cancer advocate and ACS employee was instrumental in bringing the Relay for Life to Santa Clarita.
Several speakers including Candy Spahr, Warrick’s friend and president of the SCV Unit Council for ACS; Warrick’s brother Scott Clelland and ACS coworker Ana Romero will remember Warrick during the ceremony. Professional singer and breast cancer survivor Makeda Francisco will also be performing.
Warrick’s longtime friend Jerry Citarella, a Relay committee member and coordinator for the Luminaria ceremony, said that the service will be like a memorial, but in the sense that Warrick’s battle represented all the people she helped throughout the years.
“I have a lot of respect for her and what she did,” Citarella said. “We both had the same mission relating to this event, which is raise awareness and raise money. I’m doing this not only in her honor, but in the way she would want to do it, because Heather was very, very open to saying she had a horrible disease that should have taken her many years ago. And she was using every moment she had to battle it. There was nothing hidden, nothing held back.”
Citarella started participating in the Relay 14 years ago. He has since become a member of the SCV Unit Council and his company Infinity Wealth Management became a corporate sponsor.
He has seen the event grow from only 300 participants to nearly 5,000 over the years.
“We are doing it for one reason,” he said, “and that is to get as many people as possible at the event, raise as much money as we possibly can, so we can eventually cure cancer, and Heather will be the conduit for that.”
To learn more about how you can participate in this year’s Relay for Life, visit the SCV Relay Facebook page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Source: Santa Clarita News