Each relay begins at 6 p.m. Friday and goes until 6 p.m. Saturday, with cancer survivors walking the opening lap.
CANFIELD -- The American Cancer Society is recruiting teams for its 10 area Relay for Life events this May and June in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
Relay for Life, ACS's signature event, is where teams of 10 to 15 people raise funds before the event and walk, run or jog around a track during a 24-hour period. Some relays attract as many as 200 teams, said Al Stabilito, the cancer society's communications director.
To participate, contact the Mahoning Valley American Cancer Society at (330) 533-0546 or (888) 227-6446.
Relays' focus: The primary focus of the relays is on cancer survivors and the progress that has been made in cancer survival, he said.
"It wasn't very long ago when you heard the word 'cancer' your thoughts were negative because treatment techniques and survival rates were poor," said Robert Antenucci, president of the ACS Trumbull Board of Directors and a member of the Warren Relay for Life Committee.
Today, the five-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined is 60 percent, Antenucci said. The five-year relative survival rate represents people who are living five years after diagnosis, whether disease-free, in remission or under treatment with evidence of cancer.
Each relay begins at 6 p.m. Friday and goes until 6 p.m. Saturday, with cancer survivors, despite the age of the person or the type of cancer, walking the opening lap in celebration of overcoming cancer, Stabilito said.
Companies, families, churches, schools, clubs, groups and friends form teams. Food, music, entertainment, games, contests, a special luminary service and other activities are planned at each relay.
Details: The 2002 Relay for Life dates and locations are:
* May 10, 11: Austintown Fitch High School; Niles McKinley High School's Bo Rein Stadium in Niles; and Lakeview High School in Cortland.
* May 17, 18: Boardman Center Middle School; Firestone Park, Columbiana; and Warren G. Harding High School's Mollenkopf Stadium, Warren.
* May 24, 25: Youngstown State University track.
* May 31, June 1: Liberty High School.
* June 7, 8: Mangano Memorial Track, East Liverpool.
* June 21, 22: Bud Bucher Football Field, Lisbon.