Relay For Life
|Relay For Life|
|Type||Fundraising event for the ACS|
|Parent organization||American Cancer Society|
|Remarks||tax ID 741185665N|
Relay For Life is a community based fundraising event of the American Cancer Society.  Today, more than 5,000 Relay For Life events take place across twenty countries. Events are held in local communities, campus universities, and in virtual worlds.  Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's most successful fundraiser and the organization's signature event that acts to fulfill the mission of improving survival from cancer, decreasing the incidence of cancer, and improving the quality of life for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. 
It is estimated that Relay For Life events have raised nearly $5 billion to date.
The first team to raise over $1 million was the Rosebud Miners. 
The largest virtual fundraising event is Relay For Life of Second Life, which has raised more than $2,000,000 since 2005. 
In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, decided he wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Because he enjoyed marathons, Klatt walked around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He walked approximately 83 miles and raised $27,000 for cancer research. Nearly 300 of Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. After this event, Klatt thought about how other people could participate in a similar event in their own community. He recruited a small team of people to host the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer. Relay For Life is now an overnight event where people bring tents and camp out around tracks. Currently, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States. 
Although all Relays vary, there are a few common features: 
- Most tend to go overnight
- Most events can last 12 or 24 hours, depending on each event.
- Most participants are a part of a team, consisting of approximately 8-15 people.
- A Survivor Dinner
- A Survivor Lap, which starts the Relay event.
- An Opening Lap, in which all the participants take a lap around the track
- A Luminaria Ceremony, usually with a candlelight vigil
- A Closing Ceremony, including a final lap around the track in which everyone takes part. Awards are given to teams for various achievements, such as most laps walked and most money raised.
- A "Fight Back" Ceremony, in which participants pledge to take specific actions against cancer.
Survivor Lap and Survivor Dinner
Survivors are a large part of Relay For Life. The American Cancer Society defines a cancer survivor as anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer.  At most Relay events, a Survivor Dinner is held for survivors in the community. The Survivor Lap, which is often the first lap of a Relay event, is used to identify the survivors. At some events, survivors are invited to speak at Relay events to encourage those with cancer 
At Relay For Life, participants celebrate survivors and remember those lost to the disease.The Luminaria Ceremony is targeted toward remembering.  During this time, participants are asked to gather and honor those who have survived cancer and to remember those who have passed away from cancer. Luminaria bags are often decorated by participants. These bags are often then placed around the track and candles inside the bags are lit before the start of the Luminaria Ceremony.  At some Relay events, pictures of cancer patients are shown as songs and readings are delivered.
Fight Back Ceremony
The Fight Back Ceremony, often held toward the end of Relay events, is when participants pledge to take action and spread awareness of cancer research, treatments, and prevention. Participants are encouraged to hold events in the community to increase awareness of smoking cessation, routine screenings, general cancer awareness and volunteer opportunities. A representative from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) may come to a Relay event and speak about cancer prevention bills and legislation that are trying to be passed as well as encourage ACS CAN participation. 
Relay in the community
Relay For Life is a volunteer-run event. A Relay For Life event is made up of teams from all parts of the community. All teams for each Relay event are organized under a Relay Committee. Volunteers serve on the following committees:
- Team Recruitment
- Corporate Underwriting
- Set Up and Logistics
- Public Relations/Marketing
- Food and Beverage
- Advocacy and Mission Delivery
During Relay For Life, 10-20 people come together to form a team. The teams come from local businesses, churches, MOMs clubs, youth groups, etc. and take turns walking/running laps around a high school track. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times. 
Money raised through Relay For Life events goes to the following efforts: 
• Research grants and research programs
• Prevention programs
• Community/patient support programs
• Detection and treatment programs
• Construction of Hope Lodges
Fundraising also gets recognition at the event, depending on how much a team raises, the team can be awarded a sign with a specific level of fundraising. Participants may also get different incentives based on fundraising amount. There are different levels that recognize fundraising. 
The levels in order from the lowest fundraising levels to the highest are as follows: 
• Rising Star Level
• Bronze Level
• Silver Level
• Gold Level
• Platinum Level
• Jade Level
• Sapphire Level
• Emerald Level
• Topaz Level
• Ruby Level
• Diamond Level
• Purple Level
Relay For Life International
The following countries hold Relay For Life events: Australia, Belgium,Canada, France, Denmark, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Zambia.
- "Relay For Life Sponsorship Contract". Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- "American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Hurley to Hold Golf Tournament". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Tell Cancer to Take a Hike this Weekend in Ferndale". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Relay For Everyone". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Relay For Life of Mountain View, CA". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Kickoff tonight for Mansfield Relay For Life". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Ford City Relay for Life seeks quarters". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "History of RFL of SL". Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "Run Walk Ride Pioneers: Gordy Klatt, Relay for Life". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "Dr. Gordy Klatt". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "About Relay For Life". Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- "Cancer Survivors: Make Changes for Long-Term Health Gains". Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "Survivors and Caregivers". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Celebrate Remember, Fight Back At Castro Valley’s ‘Relay for Life’". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Cancer survivors invited to celebrate at Relay For Life". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "ACS CAN". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Relay For Life Volunteers". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "American Cancer Society - Relay For Life". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "Relay for Life: Communities making a commitment to fight cancer". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "Fundraising Club". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "2013 Nationwide Fundraising Club". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Official Relay For Life Website
- American Cancer Society Relay For Life
- Relay For Life International
- American Cancer Society Colleges Against Cancer
- American Cancer Society Coaches Versus Cancer
- Relay For Life Videos on YouTube
- Relay For Life Volunteer Photo Pool on Flickr
- Stockport Relay For Life
- Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life
- Cancer Research UK Relay For Life
- Team MOA - New Zealand Relay For Life
- Derby Relay for Life, Derby, UK
- Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life Youth Program Information
- Relay For Life of Second Life
- Australian Relay For Life