2016 Relay for Life: Grab Your Walking Shoes!

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Relay for Life is an overnight community fundraising walk. Teams of people camp out around a track and take turns walking—each step taking them closer to winning the fight against cancer. Relay events are an opportunity for families, communities, friends and strangers to rally together for a common goal. The temperature is climbing, and West Michigan's "Relay season" is just around the corner!

Relays typically begin with an upbeat Kickoff Event celebrating those who have battled cancer and reminding us all that while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round opportunity. The Survivor and Caretaker Laps are up next. Those participating in these laps can expect to hear a lot of cheering.

The Candlelight Luminaria Ceremonies begin at dusk, and are an emotional and beautiful way to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who fought cancer in the past. This portion of the event allows people to work through grief and find hope. East Grand Rapids resident Nichole Achram recalls the moment she lit a Relay Luminaria in honor of her mother: "Once the luminary was lit and I had a chance to reflect, so many emotions flooded me. I was ultimately overcome by peace and hope. Hope that no one has to suffer through cancer treatment. Hope that no one else has to live without a loved one because of cancer. Hope for a cure."

The Closing Ceremonies celebrate all that was accomplished during each event. People remember those who have survived, those who are still battling and those they may have lost. Everyone commits to continuing the fight against this disease over the next year.


Relay for Life of Grand Rapids | June 11 – 12, 2016, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Ah Nab Awen Park

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss is scheduled to kickoff the Relay for Life of Grand Rapids. After the opening ceremony, walkers will participant in a sock hop-themed lap and costume contest, while a team band plays on stage. Trackwide hopscotch, a three-legged race, frozen T-shirt contest, communitywide tug of war and a minute-to-win-it contest will keep the energy level high. From 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Gordon Thayer Band will perform. An '80s hair band lap will also take place and a silent auction will be held.

Survivors will eloquently speak and the Lumineria Ceremony will be meaningfully accompanied by bagpipe music.

At 9:30 p.m., an eventwide pizza party will be enjoyed, followed at 11 p.m. by the closing ceremony and awards. The Relay will officially conclude when local break-dancers take the stage.

Click here for more information and to sign up or donate.

relay for life gr


Relay for Life of East Grand Rapids | May 20 – 21, 2016, 3 p.m. to 3 p.m., East Grand Rapids High School track

Relay for Life of East Grand Rapids is an opportunity for children and adults to stand together against cancer. The 24-hour event includes a silent auction, dunk tank, bounce house, jail bail on the roof of the score box, themed laps, a movie and popcorn, fleece blanket-making for patients going through cancer treatments, Zumba hosted by MVP, a pancake breakfast hosted by Team MoMo, live band performances and more!

Click here for more information and to sign up or donate.

relay for life egr


Relay for Life of Rockford | May 20 – May 21, 2016, 2 p.m. to 2 p.m., North Rockford Middle School

Relay for Life of Rockford has an Olympic theme! A dinner for cancer survivors in the NRMS Cafeteria, generously donated Uccello's in Rockford, will immediately following the 6 p.m. Survivor and Caretaker Ceremony and Lap. The Lumineria Ceremony will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Click here for more information and to sign up or donate.

relay for life rockford


Visit here learn more about Relay for Life. Click here to find a Relay in your area.

Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer for West Michigan Woman magazine.


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