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880 participating in Relay for Life
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• WHAT: Manteca 24-Hour Relay for Life
• WHERE: Sierra High track on Thomas Street
• WHEN: Starts Saturday at 9 a.m.

Seventy-six teams and about 880 registered participants are scheduled to take part in this weekend’s Manteca Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society.

Among the participants are 140 cancer survivors, according to Misty Peters.

She and Kathy Guinnane are serving as team captains and organizers of the local event at Sierra High’s new all-weather track.

“It’s a nice and comfortable surface,” said Peters, who has been involved in Relay for Life for the past six years. “We won’t be worried about rain or wind kicking up dust.”

The event will include a food section. But only water will be allowed on the new SHS track.

For volunteers, the magic number this year is $162,000. According to Peters, that dollar amount would make it $1 million in donations – after expenses – from the local Relay for Life during a span of the past 11 years.

Saturday promises to be quite a busy one for those involved.

At 9 a.m., the local event will kick off with a Survivors Lap. This is an inspirational time for survivors, who will again be invited to circle the track while celebrating their victories in battling cancer.

Many caregivers will also be invited to take part in this walk.

At 8:30 p.m., the Luminaria Ceremony will take place, honoring those who have been touched by cancer along with those who have lost their battle to the disease.

Candles will be lit inside bags filled with sand. Participants will walk a lap in silence.

“We’ll remember those who didn’t make it,” Peters said.

She has plans to be part of the 24-hour Relay for Life experience. “Cancer doesn’t sleep,” said Peters.

Throughout the evening, teams such as two from Escalon are planning to initiate a variety of games.
In addition, a Cowbell Lap will take place at 3 a.m. on Sunday.

At 9 a.m., Relay for Life will close with the Fight Back Ceremony, giving those involved a chance to make a personal commitment to take up the fight against cancer.

In addition, the local Relay for Life will be hosting a canned food drive starting at 7 p.m. Saturday benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The public is welcome to attend this special function.

More information can be obtained by contacting Peters at 209-456-7472 or Guinnane at 209-404-8193.