Downtown Dexter’s Monument Park will turn purple this Saturday as Relay For Life hosts its annual fundraising event.
Relay For Life is an organized fundraiser walk for the American Cancer Society. Relays happen around the country, raising nearly $5 billion for cancer research since 1985.
Relay for Life of Dexter, which has been organizing the event since its inception in 2007, hopes to raise $30,000 for cancer research this year. With five days to go, the group has already raised $19,445. According to organizer Holly Kipfmiller, 2015 is looking like a great fundraising year so far.
“We’re doing much better compared to other years,” she said. “There’s a lot more motivation within the team to raise more money.”
Kipfmiller attributes some of that success to better leadership within Relay for Life of Dexter.
“I think that we have a better event leadership team than we’ve had in the last couple of years,” she said. “We have more participation in the leadership side of it to bring in more excitement.”
This year the event will see some changes, according to Kipfmiller. The walk will be a bit shorter – 14 hours instead of the usual 24 – and more live music groups will be performing throughout the day.
Those live music acts – Radiant Brass Ensemble, From Grace, Glass House, Stevie D and the Wannabees and the Dexter Chamber Ensemble – all volunteered to play the event.
“We did not have to ask for any participation this year,” Kipfmiller said. “Every group has volunteered on their own.”
Dexter’s small-town charm is what helps make the city’s Relay event special, Kipfmiller said.
“It’s a small hometown as opposed to a very large event,” she said. “We have a smaller group of people and it’s just homey and comfortable and not an overwhelming experience especially for first time cancer survivors.”
The event will feature several fun themed laps such as “crazy hat/hair” and “backwards” lap. Several ceremonies are planned including an opening ceremony and survivors’ breakfast to honor cancer survivors, the luminaria ceremony to help remember those who have died and a fight back ceremony to help encourage those who are struggling with the disease currently.
Although the event is a fun way to raise money for a great cause, Kipfmiller said it’s really about helping those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
“The Relay For Life of Dexter is really important to show all of the cancer survivors that there is support from all of us,” she said.
The event helps connect survivors and those diagnosed with cancer to community resources as well as other people who have similar experiences.
Relay For Life of Dexter begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13 at Monument Park. Those interested in donating can do so online here.
Check out the full schedule of events below.