Orange County welcomes Relay for Life Friday

More than 300 are expected to run and dance through the night at the OCC track to fight cancer as part of the Relay for Life Friday. As of Wednesday more than $20,000 has been raised, coordinators estimate.

The participants, divided into teams of about 10 to 15 people, will each run a different leg of the course from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Money raised by the event hosted by the American Cancer Society will fund cancer research, education and advocacy.

Music, food and a candle-lighting ceremony to honor those who died of cancer are included in the opening-night festivities. Cancer survivors run the first lap.

Relay For Life is a fundraising event of the American Cancer Society, and is now held in many other countries. It is an overnight event designed to spread awareness of cancer prevention, treatments and cures, celebrate survivorship and raise money for research to find more cures for cancer. Relay For Life is the world's largest fundraising walk. In 2007, Relay For Life raised over $405 million.

Relay for Life events are held nationwide, and Costa Mesa’s is one of the newest in Orange County — this being its second year.

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