Relay For Life
TypeFundraising event for the ACS
Parent organization
American Cancer Society
  1. Relay For Life Logo
  2. Relay For Life Logo Free
  3. Relay For Life

American Cancer Society Relay For Life Theme Song. Lynn wrote this song for our local Relay For Life and has donated it's use for any American Cancer Society fundraising activity. Download Every Lap - Music and Lyrics by Lynn Breaux Download Every Lap Track for use with your own lead vocals. Download Chords and Lyrics for Every Lap.

Relay For Life is a community-based fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.[1] Each year, more than 5,000 Relay For Life events take place in over twenty countries.[2] Events are held in local communities, campus universities and in virtual worlds.[3] As the American Cancer Society's most successful fundraiser and the organization's signature event, the mission of Relay For Life is to raise funds to improve cancer survival, decrease the incidence of cancer, and improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their caretakers.[4]

A Relay For Life event is organized under a volunteer Relay Committee, and implemented by volunteers.[5][6] It is often organized as a multi-day public gathering, spanning all day and night in a large outdoor space, and many people bring tents and camp out around the walking tracks. Currently, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States.[7]

It is estimated that Relay For Life events have raised nearly $5 billion to date.[8] The first team to raise over $1 million was the Rosebud Miners.[9] The largest virtual fundraising event is Relay For Life of Second Life, which has raised more than $3,000,000 since 2005.[10]

The following countries hold Relay For Life events:[11]Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, France, Denmark, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Zambia.

  1. Goldmine: In his hometown of Greensboro, GA, Blair volunteers at Relay For Life, a branch of the American Cancer Society. Download Official Team Mobile App. Link icon Facebook logo Football.
  2. For Relay For Life in NSW, click here: GO TO NSW. For Relay For Life in all other States/Territories, continue through to site. Useful Downloads. Fundraising toolkit. Fundraising Tools. Event Poster (Editable) Event Program (Editable) Your Fundraising Hub. RFL Logo (Reverse) Team fundraising poster.
  • 3Features


In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, decided he wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Because he enjoyed marathons, Klatt walked around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He walked approximately 83 miles and raised $27,000 for cancer research. Nearly 300 of Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. After this event, Klatt thought about how other people could participate in a similar event in their own community. He recruited a small team of people to host the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.[12]

Countries and their names[edit]

A lot of countries are participating with their own names.

CountyTranslationCancer Society
ArgentinaRelay for LifeLiga Argentina de Lucha Contra el Cáncer
AustraliaRelay for LifeCancer Council
BelgiumLevensloop (Dutch)

Relais pour la Vie (French)

Relay for Life (English)

Stichting tegen Kanker

Fondation contre le Cancer

Foundation against Cancer

BermudaRelay for LifeBermuda Cancer and Health Centre
CanadaRelais pour la Vie (French)

Relay for Life (English)

Société canadienne du cancer

Canadian Cancer Society

FranceRelais pour la VieLigue Nationale Contre le Cancer
DenmarkStafet for LivetDanish Cancer Society
HondurasRelevo por la VidaAsociacion Hondurena de la Lucha Contra el Cancer
IndiaRelay for LifeIndian Cancer Society
IrelandRelay for LifeIrish Cancer Society
IsraelRelay for LifeIsrael Cancer Association
JamaicaRelay for LifeJamaica Cancer Society
JapanRelay for LifeJapan Cancer Society
KenyaRelay for LifeKencansa (Kenya Cancer Association)
LuxembourgRelais pour la VieFondation Cancer
MalaysiaRelay for LifeNCSM (National Cancer Society of Malaysia)
NetherlandsSamenloop voor HoopKWF Kanker bestrijding

Dutch Cancer Society

New ZealandRelay for LifeCancer Society of New Zealand
NorwayStafett for livetKreft Foreningen

Norwegian Cancer Society

PhilippinesRelay for LifePhilippine Cancer Society
PortugalUm dia pela VidaLiga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro
SingaporeRelay for LifeSingapore Cancer Society
South AfricaRelay for LifeCansa (Cancer Association of South Africa)
SwitzerlandRelay for LifeKrebsliga (Deutch)

Swiss Cancer League (English)

TurkeyRelay for LifePembe hanim
United Arab EmiratesRelay for LifeFOCP (Friends of Cancer Patients)
United KingdomRelay for LifeCancer Research UK
United StatesRelay for LifeAmerican Cancer Society
UruguayRelevo por la VidaPeluffo Giguens Foundation
ZambiaRelay for LifeZambian Cancer Society


Luminaries at night.
The start of a Survivor's Lap.
Close-up of a luminaria placed at a Relay for Life.

Although all Relays vary, there are a few common features:[13]

  • A Survivor Dinner
  • A Survivor Lap, which starts the Relay event.
  • An Opening Lap, in which all the participants take a lap around the track
  • A Luminaria Ceremony, usually with a candlelight vigil
  • A Closing Ceremony, including a final lap for all participants. Awards are given to teams for various achievements, such as most laps walked and most money raised.
  • A 'Fight Back' Ceremony, in which participants pledge to take specific actions against cancer.

Survivor Lap and Survivor Dinner[edit]

The American Cancer Society defines a cancer survivor as anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer.[14] At most Relay events, a Survivor Dinner is held for survivors in the community. The Survivor Lap, which is often the first lap of a Relay event, is used to identify the survivors. At some events, survivors are invited to speak at Relay events to encourage those with cancer.[15]

Luminaria Ceremony[edit]

At Relay For Life, participants celebrate survivors and remember those lost to the disease. The Luminaria Ceremony is targeted toward remembering.[16] During this time, participants are asked to gather and honor those who have survived cancer and to remember those who have died from cancer. Luminaria bags are often decorated by participants. These bags are often then placed around the track and candles inside the bags are lit before the start of the Luminaria Ceremony.[17] At some Relay events, pictures of cancer patients are shown as songs and readings are delivered.

Closing Ceremony[edit]

The Closing Ceremony, held toward the end of Relay events, is when participants pledge to take action and spread awareness of cancer research, treatments, and prevention. Participants are encouraged to hold events in the community to increase awareness of smoking cessation, routine screenings, general cancer awareness and volunteer opportunities. A representative from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) may come to a Relay event and speak about cancer prevention bills and legislation that are trying to be passed as well as encourage ACS CAN participation.[18]


The American Cancer Society states that money raised through Relay For Life events goes to the following efforts:[19]

  • Research grants and research programs
  • Prevention programs
  • Community and patient support programs
  • Detection and treatment programs
  • Fundraising
  • Construction of Hope Lodges

What Does The Dollar Do?According to a study conducted by The American Cancer Society in 2013, the following was noted for how funds raised by Relay For Life have impacted communities nationwide:

  • Saved Patients more than $38 million in lodging costs by providing a free place to stay through the Hope Lodge program
  • Provided more than 380,000 rides to and from treatment or medical appointments
  • Contributed to a 50% drop in smoking since 1946
  • Marked a 20% decline in cancer related deaths since 1991. That means more than 1.3 million lives saved

See also[edit]

Relay For Life Logo Free


  1. ^'American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Hurley to Hold Golf Tournament'. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  2. ^'Tell Cancer to Take a Hike this Weekend in Ferndale'. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  3. ^'Relay For Everyone'. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  4. ^'Relay For Life of Mountain View, CA'. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  5. ^'Relay For Life Volunteers'. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  6. ^'American Cancer Society - Relay For Life'. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  7. ^'Dr. Gordy Klatt'. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  8. ^'Kickoff tonight for Mansfield Relay For Life'. Archived from the original on December 10, 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  9. ^'Ford City Relay for Life seeks quarters'. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  10. ^'History of RFL of SL'. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  11. ^'American Cancer Society Relay Events - Relay For Life'. Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  12. ^'Run Walk Ride Pioneers: Gordy Klatt, Relay for Life'. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  13. ^'About Relay For Life'. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  14. ^'Cancer Survivors: Make Changes for Long-Term Health Gains'. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  15. ^'Survivors and Caregivers'. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  16. ^'Celebrate Remember, Fight Back At Castro Valley's 'Relay for Life''. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  17. ^'Cancer survivors invited to celebrate at Relay For Life'. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  18. ^'ACS CAN'. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  19. ^'Relay for Life: Communities making a commitment to fight cancer'. Archived from the original on December 10, 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.

External links[edit]


Relay For Life

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