The informational open house, which will also feature refreshments, games for kids and entertainment at 7 and 8 p.m., brings people together to help them understand the purpose of Relay for Life and how important their involvement in it can be.
"I think everyone's life has been touched by cancer, whether through a family member, a neighbor, or even a celebrity like Lance Armstrong," said Heather Barker, the Relay for Life chair and cancer survivor. "It affects all of humanity."
Most of the information at the kickoff will focus on how people can become involved in the relay, either by joining one of the 10 to 15 member teams who raise money beforehand and participate in the overnight event, or volunteering for the relay committee and help with the organization needed to bring any regional event to life. Information about advocacy programs designed to help in the fight against cancer will also be available at the kickoff.
At the heart of it all, though, will be to make people truly understand the heart of Relay for Life. All of the relays sponsored by the American Cancer Society, which will occur in city after city throughout most of Utah and the United States during the summer months, share three main goals.
The first is to celebrate those who have survived or are currently surviving in the face of cancer. From the opening ceremony to the survivors' walk, cancer survivors and those who know and love them are given the chance to connect and share their stories.
The second is to remember those who have been lost to cancer, as well as the reason everyone has banded together to take part in the relay. The fact that the relay is overnight echoes this, with members taking turns staying on the track at all hours to remind themselves, each other and the community that cancer never sleeps.
The third is to fight back, raising money for research to help continue the fight against cancer and for programs that help those currently living with cancer stay hopeful enough to fight their own fight. Some of the programs supported by the South Davis Relay include one that assists those with cancer in getting to and from their doctors appointments, and another who supplies wigs and beauty assistance to help buoy the spirits of those undergoing chemotherapy.
For more information about the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life South Davis, please call Heather Barker at 718-1822 or visit www.cancer.org.
"We're making strides toward a cure," said Barker. "But until we have everyone on the planet taken care of, there's still a reason to keep doing what we're doing."