Thousands of Penn Staters and members of the State College community will gather at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the tenth annual Relay For Life of Penn State this weekend.
Relay For Life is a year-long fundraising effort that culminates in a 24-hour relay style walk-a-thon in which teams take turns walking around the track at Medlar Field. All funds raised at Relay For Life benefit the American Cancer Society, a national organization that provides support to cancer patients through various services and raises awareness and funds to fight back against cancer.
Opening ceremonies for the event will kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday. After opening remarks, cancer survivors will be honored and invited to walk the first lap with their caregivers. Following the first lap, there will be a balloon release to honor the survivors.
After the survivor lap, all teams will be invited to walk the track. From that point on, every team is required to have at least one member walking the track at all times until the conclusion of the event at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Events and entertainment throughout the weekend will include performances by various groups including Vole, Peace. Love. Lyrical., Singing Lions, and Urban Dance Troupe. There will also be a photo booth, Power Remix, themed laps, and various other games and activities.
At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, there will be a Luminaria Ceremony to honor survivors and remember those lost. Paper luminaria bags decorated to honor loved ones will line the tracks and paper lanterns will be lit. Jay Paterno will also speak during the ceremony.
Closing ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The ceremony will include a cancer survivor sharing her story and the total reveal.
There are currently 129 teams signed up for this year’s event, which have already raised over $75,000. If the event total reaches $100,000 before Relay Weekend begins, the Relay For Life of Penn State 2014 Overall Chairperson Courtney Zeuner and American Cancer Society Staff Partner Sam Benz have agreed to dye their hair purple.
Visitors to Relay For Life are welcome between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Any cancer survivors of any age are also invited to join the event.