The Reynoldsburg/Whitehall Relay for Life will take place at Baldwin Road Junior High School beginning at 6 p.m. Friday to raise money for cancer research.

The Reynoldsburg/Whitehall Relay for Life will take place at Baldwin Road Junior High School beginning at 6 p.m. Friday to raise money for cancer research.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this year's theme is "I Spy A Cure." Relay events will continue throughout the night at the junior high's outdoor track, ending at noon Saturday.

Event organizer Amanda Fleming, a Reynoldsburg resident, said the Relay For Life is open to the community. Residents are invited to attend and support a team and donate money toward cancer research.

Fleming, whose 5-year-old son, Christopher, is a cancer survivor, said she decided to get involved in the event because her family has a long history of experiencing cancer.

"The importance of this event is not only to raise money but to raise awareness," Fleming said.

This year's Relay will host seven teams, each made up of community members from Whitehall and Reynoldsburg. One of those teams is a group of 32 teachers and parents representing Reynoldsburg's Rose Hill Elementary School.

They all will be walking around the track Friday night and into the day on Saturday.

"Traditionally, the reason the event runs from daylight through the night and back into daylight is because it symbolically represents a journey of someone who has cancer," said Bob Paschen, public relations director for the American Cancer Society. "It symbolizes it from diagnosis through treatment back into recovery."

Rose Hill Elementary physical education teacher Becky House said the students will participate in their own relay at the school, starting at 2 p.m. Friday.

House said each of the approximately 400 students is donating a dollar and will walk for about one hour around the school.

"Each one will be wearing the name of someone who has had an experience with cancer which they are dedicating the walk to," House said.

She said she has been educating her students all week about the importance of practicing cancer-prevention habits, such as not smoking, avoiding sunburn and eating healthy foods.

Fleming said a variety of activities will be going on during Relay For Life, including face painting, pedicures and the sale of tacos in a bag. A photographer will be on hand to create scrapbooks of the event, she said.

Fleming said money raised during Relay For Life also goes toward treatment programs for cancer patients and survivors.

More information about Relay For Life is available by calling her at (614) 216-8397.

dowen@thisweeknews.com

A closer look