The American Cancer Society (ACS) is asking community members to be part of the world’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event to save lives from cancer by participating in the annual Relay For Life of the Northwoods in Eagle River on Saturday, May 16, at the World Snowmobile Derby Complex. 

The Relay For Life movement unites 2.5 million participants globally to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Joy Turpin, event lead for the Relay For Life event, said she is excited about this year’s event. 

“This year our theme is ‘Living Hope.’ We feel like each participant and donor to our event brings hope to those who are battling cancer or supporting a loved one with cancer,” said Turpin. “We also remember those who have been lost to this disease, but Relay is a celebration of life and a way to make a difference to many in our community and beyond.” 

Turpin said that participants do not have to be someone experiencing cancer firsthand to take part, but must simply want to see cancer be something that can be treated, cured or prevented. 

“The name Relay For Life implies you must be a walker to participate,” she added. “While that was how Relay started, it has evolved into many things in the thousands of events that take place each year. 

“Our event will be primarily indoors, with some activities outside. We will have an artisan market, bounce house and petting zoo for the kids, delicious food and beverages, including a cash bar sponsored by the Derby Complex, drawings, silent auction, ceremonial laps, luminaria ceremony and more. We are excited to have the music of Bret and Frisk this year,” Turpin said.

Teams can be formed by families, friends, coworkers, clubs, school students, churches or any other group that wants to get together in support of the ACS’s mission of work. However, individuals also are welcome to take part. 

Monthly meetings to plan the event and share ideas are held at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eagle River starting at 6 p.m., and everyone is welcome. 

Scheduled meetings will be held Jan. 27, March 2, April 6 and April 27, with May 11 as T-shirt Night. The Relay For Live event setup is on May 15. 

“Cancer has hit our community members so many times, and our work to help those facing the challenge with research funding, 24 hour/365 days a year information, free lodging, assistance with transportation and more helps to make their journey easier. Our goal is to keep fighting along with them until no one hears the words, ‘You have cancer,’” Turpin said.

For more information, to join a team, or to take part in the planning, visit

About Relay For Life

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Tacoma, Wash., in 1985, Relay For Life events around the world have raised nearly $6.5 billion to help ACS attack cancer. 

Funds raised help ACS fund and conduct breakthrough research, and give cancer patients and their families the resources they need, such as free rides to chemotherapy treatments, free places to stay near hospitals, and a live 24/7 helpline for answers and support.

Last year’s Relay For Life of the Northwoods raised more than $36,600 to help ACS fight cancer on every front. Fundraising is done year around, with the event being a celebration of life and kickoff to the fundraising that will take place throughout 2020.