By Kevin Kelley
This weekend the annual Westlake Relay For Life fundraiser benefiting the American Cancer Society will mark its 10th year at a new location – the Westlake Recreation Center, at 28955 Hilliard Blvd.
Past Relays took place at the stadium of Westlake High School. The location was changed to avoid construction work at that site, said Rick Grane, co-chairman of Westlake Relay.
At Relay, teams of people take turns walking or running around a track to raise money from sponsors for cancer research and other programs of the American Cancer Society. Thirteen teams of volunteers will take part this year, Grane said. Team members set up tents for the overnight fundraiser.
“We want a campout atmosphere,” Grane said. “We’re going to be running movies all night, from 10 to 2.”
The event begins at 4 p.m. Friday with ceremonies that will include the “Star- Spangled Banner” sung by Westlake student Kalee Shaver, an invocation, and remarks by Liz Adamson, a Westlake cancer survivor.
The dinner for cancer survivors, with food provided by a variety of area restaurants, will be served inside the recreation center following the opening ceremonies. Pat Catan’s Craft Center in Westlake donated $250 in supplies for this year’s dinner, Grane noted.
In addition, several area pizzerias have donated pizza for the fundraiser, Grane said.
The luminaria ceremony, which recognizes those lost to cancer and those still fighting with lighted candles, will take place at dusk, or around 9 p.m., Grane said.
While team members walk to raise money, there will plenty for visitors to do, Grane said. Cuyahoga Community College is sponsoring a photo booth. Yoga Trends will sponsor two massage tables. Supporters can purchase raffle tickets for a plethora of gift baskets containing items donated by area businesses. Grane said support from the business community in the form of donated goods has been much greater than in previous years. One such donor is Vitamix, the Olmsted Township company that donated one of its high-end blenders.
Grane said this year’s Relay is dedicated to cancer survivor William H. Hackenberg and Clayton Twig, a longtime Westlake Relay volunteer who passed away June 27.
Any cancer survivors wishing to attend the survivor dinner should contact Grane at 440-829-0974.