Your chance to support the fight against cancer is just around the corner.

Crescent City’s Relay for Life begins at 6 p.m. on July 19 at the Del Norte High School track and continues until 6 p.m. the next day. The Relay starts with a survivors lap that is directly followed by a survivors dinner.

Perhaps the most touching aspect of the event is the Luminaria ceremony, focused on remembering those who have been lost to cancer and celebrating survivors, showing everyone affected by the disease that there is light in the darkness. The ceremony begins at 9:30 p.m. with a guest speaker followed by a silent lap for reflection.

This year’s Relay for Life in Crescent City features a new ceremony, The Spirit of Relay, in recognition of participants and teams who will be encouraged to keep fighting through the night. The ceremony will be conducted at midnight.

The event continues Saturday with music, entertainment and a dunk tank featuring many public officials. The Del Norte county sheriff, the Crescent City chief of police, probation officers, the director of solid waste, the manager of recology, and County Supervisor Roger Gitlin have all volunteered to take the plunge, according to event organizers.

The closing ceremony to recognize volunteers, the community’s hard work, and the ongoing battle to rid the world of cancer will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

According to the organization, Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society.

For 24 hours, Klatt circled the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83 miles, raising $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer.

As he circled the track, he reportedly thought of how he could get more people involved. Klatt envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.

After previously battling stomach cancer, Klatt died of heart failure on Aug. 3, 2014 at the age of 71. His legacy lives on, having grown from a man walking and running a track alone to a global fundraising phenomenon.

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