This year’s Relay For Life of Waupaca will include 12 teams, with five of them new ones.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 5-11 p.m. Friday, June 5, at Haberkorn Field, on Harding Street in Waupaca.
People are invited to visit and watch teams from Gusmer Enterprises, Inc., Trinity Lutheran Church, Advanced Family Eye Care, Riverhill Dental, Ministry Medical Group, Casey Lake 4-H, Manawa Rural Fire Department, Scandinavia Lutheran, All About Love, SPL Care, Waupaca County Relay Gals and Premier Community Bank participate.
Advanced Family Eye Care, Riverhill Dental, Ministry Medical Group, All About Love and Premier Community Bank are the new teams.
The opening ceremomy, which includes survivor and caregiver laps, will begin at 6 p.m.
Survivors and caregivers do not have to be members of a team to participate in the ceremony.
Relay For Life of Waupaca will also include the Firefighter Mile at 7:30 p.m., involving about 10 area fire departments, and a luminaria ceremony at 8:30 p.m.
For $5, people will be able to turn a paper bag into a luminaria and set them around the track.
It was Josh Smith, a member of the Manawa Rural Fire Department, who two years ago, came up with the idea for the Firefighter Mile.
Wally Rasmussen, the department’s former assistant chief, started a Relay For Life team in 2011.
When they did their first lap, they did so wearing part of their gear and walking in support of Rasmussen, who had been diagnosed with cancer, and for any members of their families who had been diagnosed with the disease.
In 2012, the departments got shirts to wear for the first team lap.
When Rasmussen was unable to attend the event in 2013, Smith came up with the idea to walk one mile in full turnout gear.
He used social media to extend the invitation to other firefighters, and 31 firefighters geared up in some way and walked the mile.
Rasmussen lost his battle with cancer in July 2013.
Last year, Manawa’s firefighters walked in memory of him and again invited other departments and firefighters who knew someone battling cancer or who had to be part of the Firefighters Mile.
A total of 31 firefighters did so again in gear.
This year, Smith again invites firefighters, as well as anyone in an emergency services organization and their families, to walk the Firefighters Mile.
Those planning to participate should meet at the Manawa Fire Department’s site at Relay For Life at 7 p.m. to get dressed and then be ready to walk at 7:30 p.m.
They may wear gear or shirts.
In addition to the Firefighers Mile and luminaria ceremony, Relay For Life will include a silent auction, music, Dizzy D Clown, carnival games, food and refreshments.
All proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
Relay For Life seeks to celebrate survivors, remember loved ones and fight for a cure for cancer.
The sponsors for Waupaca’s event are Community First Credit Union, the Anthony Family, ThedaCare, Ministry Health, Premier Community Bank, Gusmer Enterprises, First National Bank and Farmers State Bank of Waupaca.
Cancer survivors and those wanting to form a team may visit www.relayforlife.org/waupacawi to register online.