Relay for Life: Survivors, caregivers ‘lighting a way for a cause’

Published 9:11 am Thursday, February 29, 2024

Survivors will be celebrated. Lives lost, remembered. Caregivers will be honored and funds will be raised by Southwest Louisiana go-getters for the American Cancer Society at the 2024 Relay for Life.

The festival-style event is 5-8 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Lake Charles Event Center Amphitheatre.     

Funds raised stay in Southwest Louisiana to “end cancer as we know it, for everyone,” according to Carrie LaFargue, American Cancer Society senior development manager. “We’ve been holding the Relay for Life event for over 30 years and we’re always looking to put a new twist on it. This year, we’re including a 5K Walk/Run in addition to our 1K Walk/Run.”

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Admission is free, and food and activities for all ages will be available for donation. Lawn chairs are encouraged. Runners and walkers can register the day of the event for $30.

The luminaria experience and firework finale are back, symbolic of the suffering of cancer patients through the darkest hours of the night. Light driving back the darkness is indicative of this year’s Relay for Life theme, “Lighting a way for a cause.” Those lights will also light up the track for the fun run/walks along Lake Shore Drive.

Northrup Grunman is presenting sponsor. Here’s a rundown of events.

l Survivor Celebration Victory Lap, 5:15 p.m. All cancer survivors are welcomed to attend to kick off this event.

l 5K & 1 K Gleux Run, 5:30 p.m. The race begins at the amphitheater. Runners/walkers will travel down Lakeshore Drive. The top three running times will be awarded for both the men’s and women’s division.

l Campsite and Entertainment, 6:15 p.m. Not a running or walking kind of guy or gal? No worries. Multiple “campsites” will be set up selling items such as boudin burgers, hot dogs, nachos and cotton candy. Enjoy music and dancing.

l Luminaria and fireworks. The Luminaria ceremony is a special tradition of Relay for Life. White, paper bags are dedicated and decorated in memory or in honor of loved ones who have battled cancer. During this portion of the evening, a slide show will feature the faces of loved ones who have battled cancer.

Proceeds are used to lodge patients and caregivers when they travel to a cancer center and provide transportation from local communities to cancer centers. American Cancer Society grants are currently providing funds to directly assist patients receiving treatment at Lake Charles Memorial Health System and Christus Ochsner Health of Southwest Louisiana.

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