To the editor:

The American Cancer Society's premier fundraising event, Relay For Life, will be held this weekend at the Baker High School track. But Relay For Life is so much more than a fundraiser and so much more than an American Cancer Society event.

This is our event our relay. It is one day one night one community one fight! It is a time for old friends to come together and new friendships to form as we celebrate those people in our lives, in our community, who have fought and survived cancer; as we remember those we have loved who have lost the battle against this horrible disease and as we vow together, as a community, to FIGHT BACK to do all that we can to alleviate the suffering, ease the sorrow, and ultimately FIND A CURE!

For the past 10 months, a group of 20 or so committee members have been working together to plan this year's Relay For Life of Baker City. I have been so honored and privileged to work among these individuals. More importantly, however, community-wide, there are more than 500 individuals, ages 8 to 80, signed up to participate on 43 different relay teams. There are 45 community-based businesses offering their support as corporate sponsors; there are at least 47 more businesses, civic and school organizations and service clubs offering support as team sponsors, special underwriters and in-kind donors.

Please join us for this year's Relay for Life. You don't have to be on a team to participate. Come down to the high school track for opening ceremonies and the Survivors' Lap at 6 p.m., stay and enjoy the festivities and entertainment, visit with your neighbors, enjoy a burger cooked by the Rotary Club, then stay a little longer to participate in the solemn and touching luminary ceremony at 9 p.m. when we will light a ring around the track with nearly 2,000 luminaria, each decorated to honor those among us who are survivors, and to remember our precious loved ones who have died all because it is about being a community that takes up the fight!

See you there.

Kelly Hardy

Relay For Life Co-Chair

Baker City