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ACS Relay Kickoff Party Scheduled
Cancer survivor Raquel Castro led the walk alongside the Boy Scouts at last years Relay For Life event held at Cardozo Middle School in Riverbank. Kickoff event for Relay 2014 is this Saturday. - photo by VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The New Year begins and the fight against cancer continues.

Lisa Alba, Relay For Life, Riverbank event chair will be hosting a “kick off” party at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church Parish Hall, 2827 Topeka St., in Riverbank on Saturday, Jan. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Everyone in the community is invited to attend the party to socialize, to be informed about Relay and to possibly sign up to be part of a team.

The event will include light refreshments, a cancer survivor guest speaker, and information about the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

Alba originally got involved with Relay of Modesto in 2010 and joined a team for a friend. In February 2012, her aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer and it was then that Alba knew that she wanted to form a team of her own.

Her aunt, Anita, passed away in February 2013 so Alba formed a team called “Anita’s Angels” in her memory. As team captain, Alba and the team participated in the 2013 Relay For Life of Riverbank.

Cousin Michelle Garcia was able to lead the Anita’s Angels team and take over duties. This allowed Alba to volunteer for the Event Chair position for Relay For Life of Riverbank 2014. As a resident of Riverbank, Alba knew that being the event chair would be challenging but she is up for the task.

“I am excited and nervous at the same time, I have high expectations of myself and I hope that I can achieve what is asked from me,” said Alba. “I have a committee of about 15 volunteers that I call my dream team, I am glad that I have a great group of people wanting to help plan this upcoming relay.”

According to Alba, several people do not know what Relay For Life is and several people think that it is a marathon.

“It’s not a running marathon; it is where people come together who have been touched by cancer or who want to help raise funds to help people fighting this disease,” explained Alba. “Cancer never sleeps so we at Relay walk the track for 24 hours.”

At least one member from each team is on the track at all times, allowing for the 24 hour ‘relay’ where the team is always involved.

Teams consist of approximately 15 to 24 members and each member will walk the track for varying periods of time throughout the 24 hours.

“I am hoping that people that don’t know exactly what Relay is about, will come to the kickoff and find out just how fun Relay can be and together we can ‘Finish the Fight’ of cancer,” stated Alba.

For more information contact Alba at 209-300-1333.