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Relay for Life set for Friday

The 2016 East Otter Tail County Relay For Life comes to the Perham High School track on Friday, July 8, beginning at 5:30 Pp.m. This American Cancer Society's signature event, after...

The 2016 East Otter Tail County Relay For Life comes to the Perham High School track on Friday, July 8, beginning at 5:30 Pp.m. This American Cancer Society's signature event, after

months of planning, is ready for the public.

"The Relay is free, and we invite all to come," said chairperson Lisa Peterson. "There's a lot to do, much to see and lots to eat."

Also this week, Perham is "painted purple," the color for survivors. Many businesses have decorated storefronts honoring those who have survived or are living with cancer or who have passed because of the disease.

Many activities are planned during the annual Relay, including a silent auction, classic car rides, concessions by the Masons, haircuts, massages, wacky hair, kids games, face painting, cancer education scavenger hunt, and pizza on the grill.

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Each of the 25 teams that will walk throughout the night has a campsite activity for the public to enjoy.

Everything comes to a "stop" at 7 p.m. when the opening ceremony begins with a message from James Gardner, the featured speaker from Thursday night's Survivor's Dinner.

The Ceremony continues with the release of doves, each one honoring or remembering a loved one who fought cancer. All cancer survivors are announced and walk the opening lap around the track. For those not able to walk, golf carts will be available.

Following the survivor's lap, the 25 teams take to the track, each announced and carrying a banner.

At 9:15 p.m., the luminaries will be lighted, followed by a short ceremony and speeches the honorary co-chairmen, Gary Ebeling and Mike Parta. Following everyone gathers again by the bleachers for the highlight of the evening, the Luminary Lighting ceremony.

Accompanied by the solemn music from the St. Paul Lutheran bell choir, Ebeling and Parta light two torches and lead everyone in lighting the 5,000-plus luminaries lining the track. The word "HOPE" is lit in the bleachers and along with the luminaries, provides the only light for the walkers.

Each decorated luminary honors a loved one who survived cancer or memorializes a loved one whose life was taken by cancer.

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