2012 Relay for Life kicks off Friday in Los Lunas

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Bring your tents and celebrate the 2012 Los Lunas Relay for Life at the Los Lunas High School baseball field on Friday.

Everyone is welcome to camp out, but teens must be accompanied by adults for overnight stays.

It is a family and community event to celebrate local cancer survivors, people winning their battle against cancer, and to remember those who lost their battle with cancer.

"It's not a 'pity me' kind of atmosphere," said two-time cancer survivor Tina Collister. "It's 'Look what I've done,' 'Look how far I've come.' There's hope. There's good things that come out of it."

The celebration kicks off with registration at 5 p.m., Friday, June 29. Luminarias and team logo shirts can be purchased at that time. There will be activities all night until 9 a.m. on Saturday.

"Relay is an overnight event because cancer never sleeps," said Karin Trujillo, event co-chairman with Frank Sherman.

This year's theme is based on Disneyland — "The Magic of Relay — Be Our Guest."

"I think, as a survivor, it's kind of a fun way to know that there's other people out there that went through something similar to what you went through," said Collister, who is the assistant librarian at Katherine Gallegos Elementary School.

The goal this year is to raise $32,000, which is done through individual community members or teams and sponsors.

They have been hard at work fundraising all year, and have raised $26,000 so far.

The funds will go to the American Cancer Society, an organization that supports cancer patients and the research dedicated to the elimination of the disease.

"The biggest thing about Relay is, it's a cancer awareness, family orientated community event," said Trujillo. "So we want as many people in the community to come find out about it."

Many of the new teams this year had visited last year's Relay event and had such a good time, they signed up to be a team this year, she said.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. with the posting of the colors by Girl Scout Troop 10080 and the national anthem sung by Dominique Martinez.

At 6:25 p.m., all the cancer survivors who are able will walk the track while participants line the circumference to honor them with a high-five or a hand-shake.

The teams will follow, each making one lap, and then survivors with one caregiver will receive a free dinner provided by Papa Murphy's.

At 6:30 p.m., there will be a kids coloring contest in the Hot Mama's For A Cure Tent, while at the same time, for those who wish to donate their hair, Locks of Love will be set up to cut it and a stylist to give a new hair style.

The State Employee Federal Credit Union horseshoe tournament will start at 7 p.m. in the bull-pen, and the Walmart volleyball tournament lasts all night.

There will be a Dance With Me demonstration at 7:30 p.m., where Dominque Martinez will perform, and a three-legged race will be held at 8:30 p.m..

At sundown a luminaria ceremony will light up the night, followed by the Mr. Relay lap at 10 p.m., a sack race at 10:30, frozen T-shirt contest at 11:30, Jazzercise at 12:30 a.m., Mr. Black Band plays at 1:30 a.m., Energy Pong at Team Hope Campsite from 2 to 4 a.m., Zumba at 2:30 a.m., posole for sale from Great Value campsite at 3 a.m., line dancing at 3:30, Karoke at 4:30, Jazzercise at 5:30, Yoga at 6:30 a.m., and then at 7:45 a.m. the closing ceremonies begin and a final lap of all participants concludes the event.

Throughout the night, one person on each team can participate in theme laps, including the High Heels Walk, Three-Legged Walk, Team Theme Lap — wearing items from the team's name, Wig Walk, Glow Walk, Disney Hat Lap, Best Morning Look, Pink Pajamas Lap and Kids Favorite Disney Character Dress Up Lap.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.