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Cancer survivors line up to walk the survivors' walk during the Lake Charles 2011 Relay for Life event and fundraiser at the Lake Charles Civic Center. (American Press Archives)<br>

Cancer survivors line up to walk the survivors' walk during the Lake Charles 2011 Relay for Life event and fundraiser at the Lake Charles Civic Center. (American Press Archives)

Relay for Life event begins Friday night at Civic Center

Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 9:52 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The American Cancer Society will host its 20th annual Relay for Life on Friday and Saturday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Entertainment will begin at 6 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. Events will last until 5:30 a.m.

“The dusk-to-dawn event represents a cancer patient’s journey in the fight against cancer,” Katie McCarty, area director of the American Cancer Society, said in a news release.

Teams are invited to camp out for the all-night event. Entertainment and food will be provided. A 9 p.m. Ceremony of Hope will honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones lost to cancer.

“It’s an important event because it raises awareness and funds for cancer awareness,” Ariel Caraway, cancer society community representative, said. “It’s an opportunity for the community to come together as a whole and celebrate survivors and remember those we’ve lost.”

In addition, 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society.

“We just encourage people that we don’t want to be around another 100 years,” Caraway said. “We want to finish the fight.”

There is no admission to attend the event. Candles can be dedicated for loved ones for $10.

The candles “line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions,” McCarty said.

Over 70 teams have registered, and more than 2,500 people are expected to attend the event, McCarty said.

For more information, call 433-5131 or visit relayforlife.org.

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