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Relay teams take up cancer fight Saturday at Westlake High

By Kevin Kelley


The Relay For Life of the Westshore, scheduled to take place Saturday in the auxiliary gym of Westlake High School, will be the last Relay for Life event in Westlake, at least for the foreseeable future, organizers said.

It will definitely be the last relay to be organized by Rick Grane. The Westlake resident, auxiliary policeman and former Mr. Westlake has had a hand in running the local American Cancer Society fundraisers for the past 15 years, but he told West Life this year will be the last one he leads.

Cancer was the cause of death of Grane’s mother and sister. Those losses, as well as the 2003 death of his wife, Susan, after an 18-year battle with the disease, inspired Grane’s dedication to Relay for Life.

Started in 1985 by a Tacoma, Wash., physician, Relay For Life centers around teams of people who take turns walking or running around a track to raise money from sponsors for cancer research. Teams also raise money by selling refreshments during the event.

“I’ve got a lot of my friends coming out for the last lap,” Grane said.

Saturday’s event begins at 2:30 p.m. with a lunch for cancer survivors in the cafeteria of Westlake High School, located at 27830 Hilliard Blvd. Outback Steakhouse, Buca di Beppo, Burntwood Tavern, Buffalo Wild Wings and Ferris Steak House and Tavern are among the sponsors of the meal.

At 4 p.m., Suzan Piskur of the American Cancer Society and cancer survivor Janet McMaster will emcee the opening ceremonies, which will be followed
by the traditional survivors lap around the track.

The luminaria ceremony, named after the bags with lighted candles used to remember those who died of cancer or those still fighting it, will take place around 9 p.m. The event wraps up at 11 p.m.

Grane said 10 teams are planning to take part in this year’s relay, which welcomes residents from Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood and Rocky River, as well as Westlake.

Piskur told West Life her organization has not yet decided on the location for its 2018 fundraiser.

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