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Relay honors cancer survivors, raises funds

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life returns to Boulder City on Saturday as cancer survivors, family members and caregivers all wear purple to help revel in the camaraderie they’ve built from the life-changing disease.

The event runs from noon to midnight at Pratte Field at Veterans Memorial Park, said event coordinator Charlene Hampton. Previous Relays for Life ran from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., but Hampton said the time change will help to draw a bigger crowd.

Music and games will be played throughout the entire event as cancer survivors bond with each other, sharing the experiences that brought them to Veterans Memorial Park in the first place.

“It’s really the community coming together when you get to see the moments created with the survivors, and just celebrating them for what they’ve overcome,” Hampton said. “For one day, we all come together on common ground. You smile together, you laugh together and you cry together.”

Hampton said unlike previous years when registration cost $10, this year’s event is free to participants. It’s a way to help boost attendance, she said. Last year, about 400 people showed up the overnight event, but people started leaving at about 10 p.m. because they were tired, Hampton added.

“To know we have a network and we’re establishing support has been one of the biggest things,” she said. “I always fall back to the thought that you’re not alone. In those moments of complete despair when we feel we’re most alone, people come to realize they’re not alone and there is that support there.”

Also planned is a special tribute to those who lost their fight against cancer.

The event also serves as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and will include a silent auction.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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