Relay For Life in Steamboat Springs kicks off Friday |

Relay For Life in Steamboat Springs kicks off Friday

Breast cancer survivor Doris Ross, of Florida, waves a flag during the Relay For Life survivor lap in 2010. This year's event kicks off Friday at the Steamboat Springs High School track.
Courtesy Photo

— While teams are doing a final push to reach their fundraising goals, Relay for Life of Steamboat Springs organizers say there is still an opportunity for anyone in the community to participate.

“We want to encourage everyone to show up the night of the event,” said Mary Simmins, the chairwoman for this year’s local American Cancer Society fundraiser.

The Relay For Life in Steamboat Springs kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday at the Steamboat Springs High School track with the opening ceremony. Soon after, those currently battling cancer as well as those who have fought it in the past will do a lap together around the track in what is known as the survivor lap.

The luminaria ceremony will start at about 9:30 p.m. People can purchase bags for $10 each that are filled with sand and a candle that will light the way for the Relay participants throughout the night.

Simmins remembers the emotional luminaria ceremony from the first event she attended in 2007.

“That was a very poignant moment in our family’s life,” Simmins said. “It was a very moving experience, and I’ve stayed involved ever since.”

Through closing ceremonies at 8 a.m. Saturday, participants will camp out and take turns doing laps around the track.

As of Wednesday, there were 95 participants signed up and raising funds on the event’s website. So far they have raised more than $25,000.

Pet Kare Clinic has 14 people on their team who have raised nearly $4,000, surpassing their goal of $2,500.

The crew from Pet Kare has participated in the event before, but team member Lorna Hamilton said they were trying to get more involved this year.

“We’ve made it a goal here at Pet Kare to be more community oriented,” Hamilton said.

Most people participating in the Relay have been touched by cancer in some way; Hamilton’s husband, Jim Caulkins, was diagnosed two years ago.

The team at Pet Kare also is participating in the Relay for their four-legged patients that are not immune from the disease, and a lot of the cancer research starts with studies using cats and dogs, Hamilton said.

“We thought participating in the Relay was very relevant to what we do here,” she said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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