Benicia Relay for Life to get musical launch
By Donna Beth Weilenman
A 24-hour event to raise money for the American Cancer Society will begin with harmony, melody and the angelic voices of a children’s choir.
VOENA, Benicia’s children’s choir that represents 35 different cultures, will perform at the Benicia Relay for Life at Benicia High School’s track on Saturday, said Mary Lichty, who is handling publicity for the fundraiser.
Relays for Life encourage people to form teams and raise $100 per team member in support of the ACS. Each team promises to have at least one teammate walking on the event’s track while the 24-hour relay is happening.
This is Benicia’s third year hosting its own event.
“Because cancer never sleeps, relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length,” Lichty said.
VOENA — Voices of Eve ’N Angels — isn’t the only group of musical young people that will turn out to entertain relay participants. Benicia High School’s Panther Marching Band also will play — and take part in the relay itself.
“Such a great musical opening!” Lichty said.
Those who haven’t joined a team are welcome to watch the relay, she said. While “drop-in” participants who want to contribute to the ACS and join the relay at the last minute may do so, those who just want to come hear the music are welcome, too, Lichty said.
“Just come and enjoy the entertainment and see what the relay is all about,” she said.
Those attending are asked to bring one can of food per person, she said. Not only will the food be used as weights for the luminarias that light the way for relay team members, they will be donated to the Benicia Community Action Council after the event ends Sunday morning.
The Relay for Life is the reason First Street will be decorated with purple ribbons through May.
Some of those who have formed or joined relay teams have been affected directly by cancer, or have friends or family members battling the disease, Lichty said. Others simply want to contribute to the ACS.
“People have various reasons why they walk,” she said. And teammates do walk, rather than run, on the track. The event isn’t a race — its purpose is to raise money to fight cancer.
Relay for Life doesn’t focus on any specific form of the disease, Lichty said. Instead, the ACS uses relay money to underwrite research, patient support programs and services, prevention and early detection programs as well as to provide cancer information to the public.
Those interested in participating may email email@example.com. They can also visit the website and ask to join a team, or they can come in as guests and walk the track during the day.
The Benicia Relay for Life will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 21, and end at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 22, at Benicia High School’s track, 1101 Military West.