Learn About Relay
Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it's time to take action against cancer.
Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.
Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Cancer patients don't stop because they're tired, and for one night, neither do we.
Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.
When you participate in a Relay For Life event, you become a vital part of the American Cancer Society: a volunteer. You are now part of an organization of
doing everything within our power to save lives.
By selflessly devoting your time and energy through raising awareness and money, you become the voice of the American Cancer Society in your community. It's a big job. And its not one that we take for granted. So thank you for helping us fulfill our mission to save lives and celebrate life. Every day.
One person can make a difference. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon "Gordy" Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation's biggest health concern: cancer.
Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.
Gordy passed away August 3, 2014, at the age of 71 from heart failure after battling stomach cancer. But his legacy lives on. He helped shape an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global event raising over $5 billion to help save lives throughout the world.