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Kickoff to cancer-fighting event is next Monday

A kickoff for the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" fundraiser is set for Monday, February 2 in the education rooms at the Douglas County Hospital.

A social hour with appetizers will start at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. The event is an opportunity to learn how to get involved in the Relay For Life and make a difference in the fight against cancer.

This year's Relay For Life of Douglas County is scheduled for Friday, July 10 at Jefferson High School Citizen's Field in Alexandria, starting at 6 p.m.

The national Relay For Life began in 1985 with one man who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours raising $27,000.

This year, Relay For Life will take place in more than 4,900 communities across the country. In 2008, the Relay For Life of Douglas County raised more than $107,000 to fight cancer in the local community.

The relay is described as an overnight community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, barbecue, dance, and take turns walking around a track to raise funds.

At nightfall, participants light hundreds of luminaries around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors as well as friends and family members lost to the disease. One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, according to the American Cancer Society.

Organizers say the relay represents hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

To learn more about the Relay For Life of Douglas County, visit or call Jo Cory at (320) 760-0174.

For cancer information, day-to-day help, or emotional support, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit