The big event this Saturday: Relay for Life

Thurston County’s event was American Cancer Society’s 8th largest fundraiser in the nation last year


More than $3 billion has been invested in cancer research since 1991, which has lead to 3.5 million fewer cancer deaths.

We are closer than ever to finding a cure, but we aren’t done yet.

Next Saturday, July 23, hundreds of people will take to the track at North Thurston High School to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.

Some highlights of the day include:

  • Car Show Noon – 4 p.m.
  • Survivor/Caregiver lap -- 12:45 p.m.
  • Cornhole Tournament -- 2 p.m.
  • Hometown Heroes Lap -- 2:00 p.m.
  • Super Hero Lap and Costume Contest -- 8 p.m.
  • Luminaria Lap -- 9:30 p.m.
  • Last lap -- 11:30 p.m.

Thurston County Relay for Life was 8th in the nation in 2021 for fundraising – but if you think this is a somber event, think again. This year, the main theme is: “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.”

Super Heroes

And the event theme is Super Heroes; Saving the World, One Cure at a Time. To kick off the event, there will be a Survivor/Caregiver lap. Survivors and caregivers are encouraged to walk the first lap together, and everyone else is asked to cheer them on.

There will also be a Hometown Heroes lap. Anyone serving in the military, EMT, Fire Department, Police, Doctor or Nurse is encouraged to join the festivities at 2 p.m. There’s even going to be a Pirates Lap. Dress up in your pirate gear and walk.


At 9:30 p.m. there is the Luminaria lap to remember those we have lost, and those that are still fighting. Luminaria bags are decorated and lit with battery operated candles that line the track. We walk in memory of those impacted by a diagnosis.

Amanda Hanks, of Rochester, has been attending Relay for Life for 5 years, and has been part of the Leadership Committee that plans the event each year. “My Mom is a three-time cancer survivor and I have been her caregiver. I continue to fight back because I see a future where cancer doesn’t impact families. I see a future that has a cure, full of advancements and treatments. I see a future where cancer will be treated as easily as the common cold, and I believe these answers can come through the American Cancer Society.”

Cornhole, car show and food

This year, Relay for Life has some new features and some old favorites, including a car show and cornhole tournament.

Six food trucks, serving a variety of foods, will be open throughout the event. There will be a silent auction as well as a number of demonstrations, even limbo and on-site fundraisers.

“Come to Relay because it’s a community full of love and support and we know when our community pulls together, no one is alone in their fight. If you are considering donating to American Cancer Society, your dollars aren’t going just to research, but to services for cancer survivors to have an easier journey. We are attacking cancer from every angle,” says Nichole Woolsey, ACS Staff Partner for Relay for Life of Thurston County.

Relay for Life will take place this Saturday, July 23, from noon to midnight at North Thurston High School.

Register at -- and skip the line when you get there. 


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