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Weekend Brings Communitys Relay For Life
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Riverbank Relay For Life chairperson Vickie Stone sets up some information at her booth during Saturdays first of the season Riverbank Farmers Market. The American Cancer Societys Relay For Life in Riverbank runs this weekend, June 8 and 9. Marg Jackson/The News

The weather forecast looks a bit daunting ? with the first triple digits of the season predicted – but cancer survivors and those fighting for them will gather at Cardozo Middle School in Riverbank this weekend for the community’s annual Relay For Life.

With proceeds going toward patient services, cancer research, outreach and education, the signature event of the American Cancer Society brings the community together in the fight against cancer. This year’s chairperson, Vickie Stone, was among those on hand at Saturday’s first Farmer’s Market in Riverbank, staffing a booth with information about the June 8 and 9 event and encouraging the community to come out and support the cause.

Opening ceremony for Riverbank’s Relay For Life is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. at Cardozo Middle School, 3525 Santa Fe on Saturday, June 8. They currently have 14 teams signed up for the event. Stone expressed that everyone is welcome to attend the festivities and that they are expecting a good turnout.

“You do not have to be part of a team to participate in this event,” said Stone.

Teams are there the full 24 hours of the event, with members on the track at all times to signify that ‘cancer doesn’t sleep’ and those interested in learning more are encouraged to stop by. Teams have booths with information, items for sale as fundraisers, along with a photo booth and a special balloon release on Saturday evening.

The opening ceremony on Saturday morning brings everyone together for a high-energy event kickoff to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress, and to remind everyone that fighting cancer is a year-round priority.

All cancer survivors will take The Survivors Lap at 9 a.m. celebrating their victory over cancer. Survivors also are treated to lunch at the event and there are special activities planned for them.

The Luminaria Ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. Saturday, which is to remember people lost to cancer, to support people who currently have cancer, and to honor people who have fought cancer in the past.

Different theme laps are planned throughout the 24 hours as well as entertainment and breakfast will be served both Saturday and Sunday morning. Teams will gather for a ‘Fight Back’ and closing ceremony Sunday morning, June 9 at 8:30 a.m.

Stone said that ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment participants make in the fight against cancer.

This is Stone’s first time as a relay chairperson and she stated that she is learning as she goes along. However, in 2000 she attended a Relay For Life event with her best friend and they walked in support of the fight against cancer.

The goal for Riverbank is to raise $22,000 this year. The event had raised over $3,500 toward that goal by Friday, May 31.

“There are no words that can express the feeling you get when you attend these events,” said Stone. “I am in an exciting place right now.”

For more information or to donate visit