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Ravenna Relay for Life Laps Cancer

Ravenna – At Relay For Life events, communities come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much from each of us. That’s why 531 participants on 38 teams have already raised over $56,500 for the Relay For Life event at the Ravenna Stadium this Friday and Saturday, May 3 & 4th – to raise funds to find a cure for the disease that affects so many lives.

Cancer survivors Lisa Deyoung, Peggy Locklay, Jennifer Kenney and Arlene Goodwin celebrate their victories at last year’s Relay for Life in Ravenna.

Cancer survivors Lisa Deyoung, Peggy Locklay, Jennifer Kenney and Arlene Goodwin celebrate their victories at last year’s Relay for Life in Ravenna.

This year’s event will kick off at 6 pm on Friday, May 3rd at the Ravenna Stadium at 6589 N Chestnut Street, and run through noon on Saturday, May 4th. Relay teams will camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around the track. This event is 18 hours in length and each team is asked to have at least one participant on the track at all times. But, says event co-chair Jennifer Kenney, “It’s more than just walking around a track. It’s being involved with something so much bigger than the disease itself.”

And Kenney should know. Ten years ago, she fought melanoma, and won. “Having been involved with this event for the past nine years, I remember walking the track in the rain at 2 am, with my umbrella blowing backwards. But I keep coming back every year. No matter the weather, cancer never sleeps, so neither will I.”

One of the highlights of the event is the Survivor Lap, the initial lap of the evening. In previous years, over 300 survivors have joined Kenney in an inaugural trip around the track to celebrate personal triumphs over the disease. Kenney explains it best, “If you’ve been affected by cancer in any way, being part of a Relay event empowers you to make a difference and to fight back.” She continues, “This is your opportunity to honor cancer survivors, remember those we have lost to this disease, and raise funds and awareness to help end cancer forever.”

In addition, a Survivor Dinner will be held at around 6:45 pm. Each survivor and their guest may enjoy a complimentary meal courtesy of Siciliano’s. There is no need to pre-register. Survivors can pick up dinner tickets at the Survivor Registration Tent when they check in. At that time, they will also receive Relay shirts, medals, and other goodies.

Later that night, at around 9:30 pm, caregivers will also be honored for their critical roles in helping loved ones battle the disease. They will be honored at a special ceremony, followed by the opportunity to participate in a special Caregiver Lap. “The biggest thing I want people to know,” concludes Kenney, “is that whether you’re a survivor or a caregiver, you can come and be surrounded by people who know exactly what you’re going through.”

For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/sportage or email jkenney@piper-plumbing.com.

Stacy Turner is a wife, mother, and contributing reporter who has lived in the Mantua/Hiram area for over a dozen years. After enjoying a career in marketing, where she spent her time writing on behalf of other people, she gets a kick out of writing under her own name. Mostly, she enjoys the opportunity to learn more about her community through the stories she covers.