Planning begins for 2013 Relay for Life

HOUGHTON – Planning for this year’s Copper Country Relay for Life is beginning to heat up.

Committee chairs met Thursday night at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton to discuss preparations for this year’s relay, which will be held June 28 and 29 at the Houghton High School track.

“We need teams and volunteers for probably the most important relay we’ve ever had,” said publicity chair Aurellia Riley.

This year, some Relay attendees will be able to participate in CPS III, an American Cancer Society study. The goal is to find out more about factors such as genetics or environments that might cause cancer.

Laurie Stark, who is organizing the study locally, said they will be signing people up for the study from 5 to 7 p.m. the night of Relay. The study will accept people between 29 1/2 to 65 years old who have not been diagnosed with cancer. They will be asked to give a small blood sample upon signing up.

This is the final Relay at which the ACS will sign up participants for the study, which will follow them for the next 20 years.

“We have a set number we can get up to, but we don’t know that yet,” Stark said, “As many as we can get, is what we’re aiming for.”

This year’s Relay is being held a week later than usual to avoid schedule conflicts with FinnFest. Inspired by the new proximity to Independence Day, the group chose the theme “All-American Relay: Freedom from Cancer.”

Team captains can pick up donation forms and other materials from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 14 at Super 8.

“That’s a time for teams to get supplies, and for any new teams who want to find out about Relay,” said Carl Fulsher, community representative of the ACS Great Lakes Division.

This year’s kickoff dinner will take place at 6 p.m. April 11 at the Magnuson Hotel Franklin Square Inn.