HAVERHILL — The 19th annual Relay for Life Haverhill kicks off tomorrow with hundreds of walkers circling the track at Northern Essex Community College to honor cancer survivors, remember those who lost their battle with the disease and raise money to help find a cure.
All are invited to attend this free 24-hour event, which begins tomorrow at 3 p.m. and ends Saturday at 3 p.m.
Organizers hope to raise $200,000 for the American Cancer Society this year.
For the 73 participating teams and their 863 members, the goal will be to have at least one member on the track at any given time.
“If you have never been able to attend the Relay, I encourage you to take an hour or so and join us to remember a loved one, or celebrate the survival of someone,” said Peter Carbone, who will walk with his wife Donna Carbone and other members of the Pentucket Kiwanis/Donna’s Team.
“Judging from the latest figures I’ve seen, cancer rates remain steady but survival rates have skyrocketed,” Carbone said.
“The research is paying off, Donna is now a 15-year survivor with no re-occurrences.”
A Cancer Survivors’ lap is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., and will feature survivors and care-givers taking a victory lap around the track.
The Luminaria ceremony, set for 9:30 p.m., honors cancer survivors and those who are no longer with us.
Candles place in luminaria bags will line the track and light the way throughout the night, reminding participants of the importance of their contributions.
At 11:30 p.m., male team members will dress as women and compete for the coveted “Miss Relay” title.
Dollars raised during Relay for Life help support American Cancer Society programs of research, education, advocacy, and patient services.
Relay for Life also helps maintain the American Cancer Society’s toll-free, 24-hour cancer information line: 1-800-227-2345.
Donations can be made online at www.relayforlife.org/haverhillma.
3 p.m. Teams begin walking
5 p.m. Team spirit lap
6 p.m. Opening ceremonies
6:30 p.m. Survivor’s lap
9:30 p.m. Luminaria ceremony
10:30 p.m. Martial arts glow demonstration by Ocasio’s
11:30 p.m. Midnight Madness (Miss Relay contest)
1 a.m. Snack lap
3 a.m. Glow lap
6 a.m. Breakfast for the teams
8 a.m. Fiesta hour
9 a.m. Tiki treats for kids
10-11 a.m. Home Depot (Father’s day craft)
10 a.m. Cuffed for cancer jail and bail fundraiser
10 a.m. K-9 demonstration
11 a.m. Lunch
Noon Fight Back ceremony. Participants will announce what they will do to fight cancer in the coming year
2 p.m. Closing ceremonies
2:30 p.m. Final lap followed by clean-up by all
3 p.m. End of Relay