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Ceres Relay for Life aims to raise $86,000
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Cooler temperatures are expected for the Ceres Relay for Life which gets underway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning and is expected to draw at least a thousand people over the following 24-hour period with these goals: offering support to those affected by cancer and raising $86,000 to bring the world closer to curing cancer.

The theme of the family friendly Relay is "Celebrating More Birthdays," according to Sheila Doberenz, a American Cancer Society partner.

"The American Cancer Society is trying to create a world with more birthdays," said Doberenz.

The sixth annual Ceres Relay for Life is set for Saturday and Sunday at the Ceres High School football stadium. A total of 36 teams numbering between 12 and 24 team members have signed up since the kickoff and have been actively engaged in fundraising.

Teams have been hosting a individual fundraisers as a way to raise their team's goal.

It's not too late to be used in some aspect of the Relay. She welcomes anyone who wants to get involved to call her at 524-7241 ext 109 or send her an email to

The Relay gets off to an early start on May 14 when members of the Ceres Lions Club cook and serve up breakfast to cancer survivors between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. west of the stadium. Others may eat for a donation. The opening ceremonies will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday. Survivors are also given a free gift package and invited to walk the first lap at 9 a.m. The first lap may be walked by survivors, caretakers or any other supporters of the cause.

For the following 24 hours, team members will take turns around the track, either running, walking, wheeling or being pulled. Each team is supposed to have a member on the track during the 24 hours. Both adults and children will be out on the track.

The public is invited to come down and take a look at the products and services that many of the teams are selling during the relay to raise monies for the American Cancer Society.

Funds raised in Ceres will be used to support the myriads of services and research by the ACS. Besides the medical research, the ACS offers emotional support to cancer patients and families, and volunteers provide rides for patients to chemotherapy treatments.

Various music acts and demonstrations have been scheduled, including Ceres Karate at 10 a.m., Tommy Warren at 11 a.m., Make A Scene at noon, Tim All Stars at 1 p.m., Miguel Prodo at 2 p.m., Casting Crowns at 3 p.m., Gymnastics Unlimited at 4 p.m., and Launch Pad Away at 5 p.m.

A highlight of the Relay For Life is the Luminaria Ceremony to take place at dusk on Saturday. As the stadium lights are turned off at around 9 p.m, personalized luminaria bags will be lit to honor individuals who've survived or lost their battle to cancer. Luminarie may be purchased on the day of the event for $10 per bag. A special guest speaker will relate personal insight on fighting cancer as walkers stroll, remember, and celebrate the struggles of this disease.

The Relay will wrap up at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Doberenz said she's looking forward to the relay taking place on a cooler weekend. Forecasts show highs of 71 degrees and partly cloudy on Saturday with possible rain on late Saturday and Sunday morning.