Cancer survivors participate in the Survivor Lap at the 2013 Relay for Life event at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. This year’s event will be taking place this weekend at the fairgrounds. (TB File Photo)
Cancer survivors participate in the Survivor Lap at the 2013 Relay for Life event at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. This year’s event will be taking place this weekend at the fairgrounds. (TB File Photo)

VAN WERT - It’s more than just a fun event — it’s also serious business. Relay for Life is the year’s signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, in the fight against the dreaded disease.

It is also a group event bringing attention to those who have fought cancer or are still involved in the fight, and for those who are caregivers for the bout.

The Van Wert version of Relay for Life is slated for this weekend, beginning with the Torch Walk which will leave from the YWCA of Van Wert County at 5 p.m. The group will walk to the Van Wert County Fairgrounds where the event will run for 12 hours, beginning at 6 p.m.

An addition this year to Relay for Life is the car show, “Cruising to a Cure” which will run from 5-8 p.m. The Opening Ceremonies and the emotional Survivor Lap are set for 6 p.m. Following the Survivor Lap will be the Caregivers Lap, to honor those who care for the people engaged in the cancer fight. The national anthem will be the kickoff of a concert by the group Polly Mae which will run until 7 p.m.



Other entertainment during the course of the event include:
7-8 p.m. - Kim Homan Dance Works
8-9p.m. - Trinity
9-10 p.m. - Dave Bussing
11-12 a.m. - Dooley Drive
1-3 a.m. - Randy Long
5- 7:30 a.m. - DJ Music by Benji and the Beard
7:30-8 a.m. - Church Sunrise Service
8- 9:30 a.m. - Christian Music (IPAD PLAYLIST)
9:30-11 a.m. - SaMax

The car show awards will be distributed at 8 p.m. Team campsite judging will take place at 7 p.m.

Several specific relay laps have been scheduled throughout the event including the 11 p.m. lap when participant are instructed to wear their oldest Relay for Life t-shirt, 2 a.m. lap which is glow in the dark lap, the 3 a.m. limbo lap, the 5 a.m. frozen t-shirt lap,the 6 a.m. crazy hat lap, the 7 a.m. pajama lap, the 9 a.m. cancer colors lap, and the 10 a.m. team lap, which is the final lap where entire teams are asked to walk together.

This year will also feature a “chair”ity silent auction beginning Friday at 6 p.m. The chair will be awarded at 11 p.m.

The memories of those who have been taken by cancer will be on display during the luminaria ceremony, slated for Friday at 10 p.m.

Event organizers are hoping for a good turnout, and they are counting on a fun and meaningful event around the makeshift track at the fairgrounds. Above all, the organizers would love to see a successful fundraiser that leads to a cure for cancer so that events like the Relay for Life become unnecessary.