Special luminaria – paper lanterns lit to represent those lost to cancer and those who have survived - will be showcased during the 2nd annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Lavaca. The event will take place at the Lavaca High School Football Field on May 10th from 7pm to 7am.

"Many of us have been affected by cancer; the Luminaria Ceremony is a moving way to remember those who lost their battle and to pay tribute to survivors," says Felicia Owen, volunteer luminaria chair. "The American Cancer Society has contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since the early 1990s, and as we celebrate 100 years of fighting to save lives, we reinforce our commitment to bringing an end to cancer as we know it, so that fewer people will have to suffer from this terrible disease."

Anyone interested in making a luminaria donation may do so by contacting Felicia Owen at felicia.owen@lavacaschools.com or by contacting any team captain for the event. Each luminaria candle is $5. Information about making a luminaria donation, forming a team or walking in the Survivors Lap is available by calling (479) 252-1948, or visiting RelayForLife.org.

Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at a school, park, or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites during the event. Relay events celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease – all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Prior to the Luminaria Ceremony, the Survivors Lap will kick off the 2013 Relay For Life event of Lavaca on May 10th at 7 pm. Survivors will circle the track, surrounded by friends and family cheering them on. Also a part of the Relay For Life event is the Fight Back Ceremony, in which a community leader will inspire Relay participants with his or her own commitment and will challenge them to take a personal pledge of action (e.g., stop smoking, eat more healthily, exercise regularly, etc.) in fighting back.

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks to our progress, nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our 100th birthday in 2013, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.