OAKHURST — Relay for Life returns to Eastern Madera County on Saturday, May 14 at Yosemite High School on the track at Raupp Field. This year there’s a slight twist that may come as a relief to some — rather than an overnight event, EMC Relay opening ceremonies start at 9 a.m. and the event ends at midnight.
As anyone who’s been there will tell you, Eastern Madera County Relay for Life (EMC Relay) is exceptionally special in many ways, including the amount of money raised each year and the spirit with which the big event is annually undertaken.
At EMC Relay, teams of people set up for the day and most of the night as they take turns walking, skipping, dancing and running the track. Surrounding the track are informational booths, supporters, survivors, tents, tables, music, food and friends.
It’s a family-friendly, fun festival atmosphere that opens and closes with great ceremony. Anyone can participate in Relay For Life, whether friends, relatives, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, congregations, service organizations, sports teams or you-name-it. As an homage to Star Wars, this year’s theme is May The Cure Be With You.
As dusk settles over the foothills the night of the 24-hour event, the mood changes from upbeat to thoughtful, as luminaria are lit in memory of those who’ve lost their struggle with cancer, and others walk the track reflectively. Then, the fun begins anew.
As of this writing, 15 teams and 264 participants have already raised an impressive $43,959.65 for the American Cancer Society.
Teams include (with Team Leaders in parentheses) Oakhurst Lutheran Church II (Tara Ryan), The Insomniacs (Theresa M. Barry), Fire & Ice (Nicole Meeker), Oakhurst Sierra Rotary (Christine Smith), YHS Service Clubs (Rebecca Brokaw), Faithful Friends (Marta Morrow), Hand in Hand (Karen Bradley), T & T Avengers (Tami Michel), YHS Leo’s (Erik Johnson), Rivergold Leadership (Jessica Medrano), Teri’s Butterflies (Teri Martinez), Madera County (Ted Michel), Form Fitness (Ruby Alvarez), Minarets High School (Nick E Fenton), Just Cure It! (Rick W Hamilton).
Opening Ceremony 9 a.m.
Survivors Breakfast 9:30 a.m.
Bounce House open 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Live DJ all day and night
Games and activities all day
Raley’s Marketplace all day
Ice Cream Sundaes at 3 p.m. courtesy of Grocery Outlet
Star Wars character lap 5 p.m.
Luminaria Ceremony 8 p.m.
Light Saber Light-up Lap 9 p.m.
Disco Party begins at 10 p.m.
Fight Back Ceremony 11:30 p.m.
Close at midnight
Sponsors include Ameriprise Financial, Sierra Tel, Raley’s, Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary, Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Oakhurst Sierra Rotary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8743, Dennis and Cathy Creighton, and Net File.