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Teams readying for Relay for Life

The Jamestown community will unite Saturday for the 18th annual Stutsman County Relay for Life, as people walk into the early morning hours Sunday in an effort to remember people lost to cancer, honor those who recovered from it and raise money to fight it.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at Taylor Stadium on the University of Jamestown campus.

“We’re going to have (the Jamestown Drum & Bugle Corps) playing the national anthem, the Knights of Columbus Color Guard and kick off things with our survivor lap and caregiver laps,” said Amy Walker, event co-chair along with Kim Kapp.

Honorary chairs Judy Hager and Ruby Duciaome will speak at the ceremony.

About 16 teams and about 100 to 125 people have signed up for the event, but everyone in the community is invited to stop by for any of the activities planned.

“We welcome anybody who wants to come and support the event,” Walker said.

Typically, local teams working throughout the year and the event itself raise a total of $100,000 for cancer research and people struggling with cancer.

“There are still people from our community that are going to benefit from these services,” Walker said.

Teams will be selling various items throughout the event, including sandwiches, popcorn balls, popcorn, hats, keychains and raffle tickets for various items. There will be a silent auction and a Relay for Life store will have a variety of goods for sale, such as Relay apparel, caps and Frisbees.

“There’s definitely going to be something for everyone,” Walker said.

Food vendors will sell ice cream, ribs and other food.

Kids’ activities are planned throughout the night as well, including a bounce house and face painting.

Jamestown High School Blue Jazz will perform after opening ceremonies, likely between the survivor/caregiver and team laps.

“This year’s theme is superheroes, and our theme logo is ‘Superheroes unite to finish the fight,’” Walker said. “And we are going to have a superhero contest during the night.”

The superhero costume contest will begin at approximately 8 p.m., and it will be open to children. Through donations the audience will choose their top three costumed superheroes attending the event. Winners will receive a prize.

A luminary ceremony is slated for 9:30 p.m., and the names on the luminaries will be presented as the candles within the bags are lit along the walking path.

“It’s just such an overwhelming, powerful experience, it’s hard to not continue and come back year after year,” Walker said. “And most people have been touched by cancer in some way.”

At about 11:30 p.m. a “fight back” ceremony is planned.

Events and activities are scheduled throughout the night, from games and dances to scavenger hunts and a tae kwon do demonstration. A DJ will play music in between the events.

“We want to make sure we can help people have fun and stay awake through the night,” Walker said. “Cancer doesn’t sleep and neither do we.”

A nondenominational sunrise service will begin around 5 a.m. Sunday, and breakfast will be provided, Walker said. Cleanup is slated to begin around 4 or 5 a.m. and will continue until complete.

“We always welcome and need extra hands,” Walker said, encouraging anyone willing to help to stop by the track at that time.

Luminaries can still be purchased, at a suggested donation of $10 each, by calling (701) 320-8548 or emailing

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at

Kari Lucin

Kari Lucin joined the Grand Forks Herald as a multimedia producer in August 2014. Previously, she worked for a few years at the Jamestown Sun in Jamestown, N.D., as a staff writer, and prior to that, for about six years as staff writer and later online content coordinator, at the Daily Globe in Worthington, Minn. A graduate of Jackson County Central High School and Augsburg College, she has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and English. Find more of her writing at her blog, Oh Look, a Shiny Thing! or on Twitter at @karilucin.

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