Relay For Life is a time for a community to come together to celebrate, to remember and fight back. That, said Jennifer Evans, American Cancer Society senior community development manager, is why people gather each year – to honor survivors, memorialize those who have died and to work toward the day when no one has to fear the word cancer.

This Friday (July 21) the Redwood County Relay For Life event is being held at the Redwood County fairgrounds in Redwood Falls. From 4 p.m. until 12 a.m. that day, a variety of activities are being held to help raise awareness of the issues of cancer and funds for the efforts of the American Cancer Society.

All cancer survivors are invited to attend the 2017 Relay For Life event. Those survivors are also encouraged to register as a survivor to be honored during a special ceremony. Registration is from 4-6:30 p.m.

Starting at 7 p.m. an opening ceremony is being held. That ceremony includes the recognition of survivors, as well as words from this year’s Relay For Life honorary chair, Nancy Revier, and the caregiver of the year, Gary Guggisberg.

The ceremony also includes a balloon release, followed by a survivor victory lap, a caregiver lap and an official lighting of the luminaria ceremony.

This year’s event also includes a live auction with two bean bag boards being auctioned off immediately following the ceremony.

From 5-7 p.m. a community meal is being served. The meal includes grilled burgers, brats or hot dogs, potato salad, beans, chips, cookies and a beverage all for a suggested donation of $7.

According to Evans, this year’s Relay For Life also includes a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, story time by the Redwood Falls Public Library, wellness activities by the Redwood Area Hospital, massages by Special Touch Massage and inflatables.

Throughout the night there are opportunities to help raise funds through different activities, such as the silent auctions for adults and kids, root beer floats, a photo booth, face painting and much more.

The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913. At that time, to be diagnosed with cancer most often meant death, but all of that has changed over the past century.

The Relay For Life fundraising and awareness event has helped to make that change, and according to the American Cancer Society the efforts in education and research has led to a 25 percent decrease in the overall U.S. cancer death rate since 1991.

Evans said those who have questions about Relay For Life are encouraged to come to the event Friday.

All are invited to come to this year’s event to help celebrate, remember and fight back.

To learn more about Relay For Life, visit www.cancer.org.