Arenac County Relay For Life moves indoors this weekend

File photo
Peggy Smith walks through the Door of Hope during last year's Relay For Life.

STANDISH — Local men and women will be fighting the war against cancer indoors this year when Relay For Life returns this weekend July 12-13.

Arenac County Event Chairwoman Lisa Cowles said this year’s Relay is being moved indoors due to the wish of cancer survivors who have participated in past events at the Standish-Sterling track and football field.

“We had some feedback from survivors that it’s difficult for them to get down to the track,” she said. “It was more for the survivors. It’s going to be inside, out of the sun and it’s all going to be on one level, so it’s going to be easier on them.”

Cowles said this year’s relay has a theme of “Once upon a time… Arenac County decided to finish the fight,” is being held at Standish-Sterling Central High School. The opening ceremonies are at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium, where most of the activities are scheduled to be held.

“We have the survivors walk through the door of hope,” she said. “Then we do a survivors’ lap to honor the survivors, followed by a caregivers’ lap.”

Events scheduled throughout the 24-hour period include the survivors luncheon at 11:30 a.m., the fight back ceremony at 2 p.m., a silent auction that runs from noon to 7 p.m. and a live auction with donated items at 8 p.m. Cowles said the luminaria ceremony is scheduled for 10 p.m.

“We’re also having duct tape fashion show, where teams will dress up using nothing but newspaper and duct tape,” she said. “That always goes over really well.”

The duct tape fashion show is scheduled to be held at 6 p.m., Cowles added.

The SSC concession stand will be open during Relay, but for the most part, all of the action will be in the gym, according to Cowles. As of July 2, she said there were 21 teams registered to participate, but she expected that number to grow when Relay actually began.

“We do have a lot that sign up at the very last minute,” she said.

In recognition of this year’s theme, Cowles said teams and individuals can dress up in costumes observing the fairy tale theme.

“If you want to decorate or have the kids dress up as princes or princesses or story book characters — it can any fairy tale or storybook characters,” she said.

People not on a team or preregistered can feel free to drop in throughout the 24-hour period, Cowles said.

“We’ll have a registration table set up so anyone that comes in can register,” she said.

Cowles said Arenac County’s fundraising goal for Relay if $50,000. That includes team fundraising before Relay, fundraising at the event and an event planned for later this summer in Au Gres.

“We’re doing a Bark For Life again this year, and this year we’re holding it in Au Gres,” she said. “That will be Aug. 24 from 2-4 p.m.”

The yearly fundraising period lasts from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, Cowles said. Last year Arenac County raised $45,026.

“It pretty much goes to relay, and you start almost as soon as it’s done for the next year,” she said.

For more information on Relay For Life, visit or call the American Cancer Society at 989-965-1460.


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