25th Relay for Life kicks off in Oneida Monday

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Started in 1985, Relay For Life began with one man walking and running around a track for 24 hours raising $27,000. This year, Relay For Life will take place in more than 4,500 communities and is expected to raise over $300 million.

2009 also marks Oneida's sixth year participating in Relay For Life. Families, caregivers, cancer survivors, schools, companies and anyone interested in making a difference in the fight against cancer are encouraged to come together to celebrate the beginning of the Relay For Life season in Oneida at the kick-off rally Monday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. The kick-off will have free refreshments and will be held at The Kallet Civic Center located on Main Street in Oneida.

The American Cancer Society urges anyone wishing to honor cancer survivors and caregivers, or pay tribute to those who have lost their battle with cancer to attend the Relay For Life kick-off to find out more about the Relay For Life event in their community.

"We hope to see old and new faces at the kick-off event," said Karen Litwak, volunteer Co-Chair. "We will be sharing new information about this year's Relay in Oneida, the theme of which is "March To A Million!"

Relay for Life is an overnight community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, barbecue, dance, and take turns walking or running around a track relay style to raise funds to fight cancer. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminary candles around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors as well as remember those lost to the disease. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents hope in that those lost to cancer will not be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.

To participate in Oneida Area's Relay For Life, or to find out more information, visit the event's Web site at relayforlife.org/oneidany. Relay For Life in Oneida will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. June 6 and 7 at Oneida High School Track.

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