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Countdown begins to Relay For Life

Just about a month remains before teams will once again take to the track for a 24-hour period, joining in the fight against cancer in the Relay For Life of Greater Stanislaus County.

The 24-hour event to benefit the American Cancer Society will be staged at Johansen High School in Modesto on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, and will bring together teams from Stanislaus and some surrounding counties, including San Joaquin County.

This year’s event is once again being presented by ConAgra Brands as its primary sponsor.

Along with raising money for the fight against cancer, the event also includes entertainment, theme laps, friendly competitions, a midnight movie and a wide variety of food and merchandise sold by the teams as fundraisers. Luminaria bags can be purchased as well, in honor of someone fighting the disease or in memory of someone who lost the battle. The bags are placed along the track and light the way for walkers throughout the night.

The 2023 Relay was staged Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1 at John Thurman Field in Modesto but this year the Event Leadership Team agreed to move it back to the spring and back to Johansen, as it was done several years ago.

And while it is a relatively short turnaround time, officials said the fundraising year for the American Cancer Society runs through the end of October. So, teams can continue to do fundraisers and special events for several months after the actual onsite event.

The fundraising total so far has nearly reached the $60,000 mark and there are 41 teams signed up to take part. Teams can be formed at any time; anyone interested in joining the effort is encouraged to attend the next Relay meeting, scheduled on Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m., at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto.