By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Cancer survivors will be the red-carpet celebrities for the Academy Awards theme, “Lights, Camera, Relay,” said Deb West, chairwoman of the committee organizing the fundraiser at the fairgrounds at 1608 W. 16th St. in Port Angeles.
“Survivors are the stars of our show,” West said.
Relay For Life raises money for cancer research through a variety of activities, including pledges as walkers make laps around the track at the fairgrounds.
Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
Due to popular demand from participants, the Port Angeles event has been moved from its former Friday-through-Saturday schedule, she said.
This year, the Port Angeles Relay For Life will run from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, with activities scheduled around the clock.
“We don’t sleep because cancer doesn’t sleep,” West said.
After opening ceremonies, walkers will begin their laps.
Scheduled events include:
■ 2 p.m. — Olympic Mountain Cloggers perform.
■ 3 p.m. — Mr. & Mrs. Relay contest.
■ 4 p.m. — Retro Guys, an oldies rock ’n’ roll band, performs.
■ 6 p.m. — Survivors’ Lap, to honor those who have had cancer at any point in their lives.
■ 10 p.m. — Luminara ceremony to remember those who have died of cancer, to support those currently battling cancer and to honor those who have fought cancer in the past.
The day — and night — will be filled with wacky events designed to entertain and keep participants awake, and a series of Fun Laps with various themes.
Fun Laps will include a Seattle Seahawks lap, a “Star Wars” costume lap, a cupcake walk, an ugly Christmas sweater lap, a Western lap and a favorite celebrity lap, in which participants dress as their favorite star.
Tickets for a drawing to win a 60-inch plasma television will be sold for $5 at the event. Winners need not be present at the drawing to win.
Several movies will be shown throughout the night, including Disney’s “Frozen.”
At 9 a.m. Sunday, volunteers with the Pantene Beautiful Lengths “Pony Up” crew will be at the fairgrounds, cutting donated ponytails to create human-hair wigs for cancer patients.
Hair will not be “styled” at the event; those who wish their hair styled after being cut must make an appointment with their regular hairstylists, West said.
Wigs created using the donated hair are provided free to any person who has lost hair because of cancer or cancer treatments, she said.
The shortest hair in donated ponytails must be a minimum of 8 inches in length.
Also at 9 a.m. Sunday, the Road to Recovery Race will feature teams of two in cardboard and duct tape “cars.”
The team members pick up a “patient” and deliver him or her to the finish line.
The event raises funds to help volunteers who provide cancer patients with rides to medical appointments, West said.
Closing ceremonies will be at 11 a.m.
West said the forecast for the event is for a beautiful, sunny weekend and reminded participants to “Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.”
“Slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slop on sunscreen and wrap your eyes with sunglasses,” she said.
West, who had a skin cancer spot removed from her face less than a year ago, said it’s important to remember to defend skin against excessive sun exposure.
Several pre-relay events have already raised $350 — in pennies.
Relay teams participating in Penny Wars collected 35,000 pennies.
The 2014 winner of the Penny Wars was the First Federal team, which collected almost half of the pennies in the contest, West said.
West said this year’s teams include a number of youth participants, including a 4-H club, a church youth group and the Port Angeles High School NJROTC unit.
“They’re our next generation in the fight against cancer,” she said.
As of Wednesday, 17 teams and 145 participants had raised $14,728.57 through a variety of fundraisers.
The fairgrounds are next to Lincoln Park and William R. Fairchild International Airport.
For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/PDN-relayforlifePA or the Port Angeles Relay For Life Facebook page.
The Port Angeles Relay For Life is the first of the year on the North Olympic Peninsula.
The Relay For Life of Jefferson County will be from noon to noon July 26-27 at Memorial Field, 550 Washington St. in Port Townsend.
The Relay For Life of Forks will be from 3 p.m. Aug. 1 to noon Aug. 2 at Forks High School, 261 S. Spartan Ave.
The Relay For Life of Sequim will be from 6 p.m. Aug. 8 to 8 a.m. Aug. 9 at the Sequim High School track, 601 N. Sequim Ave.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.