Did you know that Relay For Life began in May 1985?
Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.
Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.
Gordy passed away August 3, 2014, at the age of 71 from heart failure after battling stomach cancer. But his legacy lives on. He helped shape an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global event raising over $5 billion to help save lives throughout the world.
Gordy proved that one person CAN make a difference.
Relay For Life is now the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It’s staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.
Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Cancer patients don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one night, neither do those teams.
The Monroe County Library System is sponsoring a Scavenger Hunt to help patrons learn more about the Missions of the American Cancer Society. Be sure to visit all 16 branches by June 3rd to find the variety of programs sponsored by the ACS. Those visiting at least 8 branches will qualify for a prize.
To find a Relay event near you visit the American Cancer Society website