Fight cancer, celebrate survivors at Relay event

By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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Doreen Prado’s first thought when she heard about the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life was she couldn’t possibly walk for 24 hours straight.
Then she learned that the goal of the event is to have at least one team member walking the track at all times.
“I realized I’d only have to be on the track for a couple of hours total,” she said.
For the past seven years, Prado has not only joined a team of co-workers from Sierra College at each year’s fundraising event, but she has also given countless hours to organizing the annual event.
“My dad died of cancer as well as two of my best friends,” she said. “I knew I had to do something.”
While the relay’s primary purpose is to raise funds for cancer research and support, Prado has seen the hope it offers to those impacted by the disease.
She recalled the impact it had on one 30-year-old woman, who was always trying to put on a happy face for her two kids.
“She took her daughters with her (to the Relay),” Prado said. “It gave them hope to see those survivors.”
Immediately following the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Granite Oaks Middle School, cancer
survivors will be invited to walk a “victory lap” around the track starting at 10:30 a.m.
At last year’s event, 121 individuals proudly walked the opening lap of the 24-hour event.
Prado indicated that 43 teams have already made the commitment to participate in this weekend’s event. However, teams or individuals don’t have to pre-register. They can just show up on Saturday morning.
“They’re welcome to just show up,” she said. “We welcome anybody.”
Activities, including bounce houses, games and contests, will start at 11 a.m. and continue through 6 p.m.
Among the contests planned throughout the day are Project Miss Relay, Minute to Win It, water balloon volleyball, celebrity look-alike, cake walk and frozen T-shirt.
While teams do the majority of their fundraising prior to the event, some will host fundraisers (dunk tank, jewelry, snacks) at their camp sites.
At 9 p.m., the luminaries — each paying tribute to a loved one who has battled cancer— will be placed around the track.
Luminaries can be purchased for a donation of $10. Donors can decorate the bag themselves or have someone else do it for them.
A disc jockey will provide music throughout the day and early evening, Prado continued.
Starting at 11 p.m. and continuing through 6 a.m., G-rated movies will be shown on the main stage for those who are not walking laps.
Closing ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.
The goal of this year’s event is to at least match the amount raised last year — $85,000.
“In the past we’ve raised more,” Prado said, “but with the economy going down we haven’t raised as much.”
Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, took the first step of his 24-hour walk around a track in Tacoma, Wash. He raised $27,000 to support the American Cancer Society.
For more information on how to get involved, visit or send an e-mail to
Relay for Life of Rocklin
Opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by survivors’ lap at 10:30 a.m., Luminary ceremony at 9 p.m. and closing ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday
Where: Granite Oaks Middle School, 2600 Wyckford Blvd.
What: 10th annual benefit for American Cancer Society
For more information: visit