Relay for Life

March 13, 2012

This post is brought to you by the American Cancer Society. When we walk together, we are bigger than cancer.

I always love the opportunity to work with the American Cancer Society, and today, I get to tell you about a HUGE program they have happening right now called Relay For Life. Have you heard of it?

There are over 5,100 Relay for Life events in the US and another 850+ events happening all over the world. (Huge I tell you!) People get together at schools, fairgrounds, or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times, which is a challenge, because the event goes overnight! It’s a big deal for the American Cancer Society — last year, Relay for Life raised $380 million!

There are actually tons of ways to support the event. You can join a team and walk the course. You can put together a booth or tent for participants. But I think one of the coolest ways to contribute is making luminaria bags. It’s the sort of project that’s right up my alley! You can design them any way you like — bonus points for adding messages of hope and love — then use them to line the Relay Route. Such a beautiful tradition! If you want to make your own, here’s a link to my very favorite luminaria tutorial, or go here to see lots of Relay for Life luminaria examples.

Want to get involved? Find your community’s event at And please, if you’ve ever participated, I hope you’ll share your experience. I’d love to hear about it!

P.S. — There are also specific Relay for Life programs especially for kids. Check out Bark For Life and Relay Recess. Find the image at top here.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy March 13, 2012 at 6:48 am

Thank you so much for using your prestigious forum to give a shout-out to such a worthwhile endeavor. Years ago, I worked at the national office (US) of the American Cancer Society. Sure, Relay for Life was always a big fundraiser to raise money for research, education, and programs, but it was also an incredibly emotional experience that reminded everyone of why they worked at such a fine non-profit organization. These events are truly memorable – you laugh, you cry, sometimes you dance! I encourage everyone to find out more about them. Thanks again. Amy


2 Design Mom March 13, 2012 at 7:19 am

I’m so grateful for your comment, Amy. Thank you! I love that you can speak to what an emotionally wonderful event this is.


3 mrsblocko March 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

I’m so glad you wrote about this. This summer will be my 4th relay. They are memorable, emotional, and yes, even fun! Lots of fun. My daughter who is 6 has been going for 4 years as well. So they are events that are for all ages.


4 Design Mom March 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

4th Relay? Go MrsBlocko!!


5 Dee March 13, 2012 at 8:24 am

My mom volunteers for the ACS and is involved w/ Relay for Life. Thanks for posting this.


6 Design Mom March 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

High-five to you mom, Dee!


7 Bonnie March 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

My husband and I met at a Relay for Life event in college. He was running and I was there to be supportive of another friend! So it’s a cause near and dear to our hearts. Thanks for the reminder about other ways to participate… (It’s not as easy to be running all night long with the kiddos!)


8 Allyson March 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

Thank you so much for writing about this! Having lost a grandmother to a battle with cancer 18 years ago, I have no idea why I haven’t done this myself, and now I want to be more involved. I’d love to join someone’s team for the Salt Lake Relay!


9 frederique March 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for sharing the post! My mom do it every year since the lost of my father and I send messages via internet. I did see in Ocean city, NJ several games for the kids to do, like poney ride. I think it was a great idea to involve the kids.


10 Sasha March 14, 2012 at 5:14 am

The students at my high school have been organizing a Relay for Life for the past ten years. They’ve raised quite a lot of money for such a small conmunity. The money is great, but the event is also very empowering. At the kick off assembly, there is always at least one student who shares how cancer has touched their life in a very profound way, which allows the other students to let their guards down and share their stories the rest of the day… and it rallies the troops, so to speak, to all participate in the event. The survivors lap is also and emotional display of solidarity and strength. Anyone who has not participated in a Relay for Life really should – you’ll be glad you did.


11 Sandi Polka March 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Please support the California Cancer Research Act.
Saves lives and keeps kids from smoking. It is Proposition 29
on the California ballot this June. Please support us. Thank you.


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