Abilene’s 21st annual American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life event will take place Saturday and Sunday at Hardin-Simmons University’s intramural field.
“Our vision for Relay for Life is for it to be a community event to bring people and survivors together all for the same cause of finding a cure for cancer,” said Josh Steed, a staff partner for Abilene Relay for Life.
Forty-three teams are signed up to help fight cancer and have raised a combined total of more than $35,000. Steed said their goal is around $100,000.
“One of the patient services that we provide is our Hope Lodge in Lubbock,” Steed said. “A lot of the money that we fundraise helps support patient services like Hope Lodge. Hope Lodge helps save patients hundreds of thousands of dollars in living costs.”
Alpha Kai Omega has participated in the event for several years.
Ariel Combs, AKO team captain, said their goal this year has been increased from when they originally started fundraising.
“We’ve actually raised just under $3,000, and the relay is this weekend, so I am hoping that we get $3,500,” Combs said.
Combs, a senior biology major from Hewitt, said the support her team has gotten has been very encouraging.
“The main goal is to get the word out and get people involved in donating to a cause that will hopefully find a cure to cancer,” Combs said.
This year, Relay for Life’s fundraising activities will include the Hardin-Simmons Six White Horses, a 100-foot-long obstacle course, and local food trucks such as the Toasted Traveler and Rock N’ Roll’s Grill, both of which will give 15-20% of what they make to ACS.
Steed said during the event each team will be required to have someone walking, jogging or running the track at all times to symbolize it takes everyone to battle cancer.
“In the beginning, I did Relay for Life because it has touched my family personally,” Steed said. “I continue to relay now, being in this job almost a year, because of the stories and the lives I’ve seen touched by cancer just here in Abilene.”
The event will be from 6 p.m.-3 a.m. with activities and ceremonies planned from start to finish.
Anyone interested in helping the fight against cancer can register at https://www.relayforlife.org/abilenetx until 6 p.m. April 24.