Press Releases

American Cancer Society Relay For Life Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary
Sep 10, 2019
With more than 3,500 events worldwide the Relay For Life movement continues to be the largest peer-to-peer fundraising event to achieve a world without cancer

ATLANTA, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society (ACS) celebrates its historic 35th anniversary of its signature fundraiser Relay For Life with the 2020 season kickoff. The Relay For Life movement is dedicated to uniting communities around the world to attack cancer from every angle. Since its inception in 1985, Relay For Life has raised nearly $6.5 billion to save lives from cancer.

American Cancer Society Logo (PRNewsfoto/American Cancer Society)

"Relay For Life is an opportunity to remember those we've lost, help those affected today, and is a chance for everyone to get involved and take action for lifesaving change," said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "We encourage local events across the country to celebrate their own milestones during this historic 2020 year."

Last year, 2.5 million participants worldwide joined Relay For Life to raise funds and awareness to continue our mission to help save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer. ACS is the only organization fighting cancer on every front. ACS estimates that 1 out of 3 people in the US will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Relay For Life empowers communities the opportunity to take action against cancer. Funds raised help ACS fund and conduct breakthrough research, and gives cancer patients and their families the resources they need, like free rides to chemo, free places to stay near hospitals, and a live 24/7 helpline for answers and support.

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, Relay For Life events can last up 24 hours symbolizing the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer. In the weeks and months leading up to the event, volunteers, teams and individuals use their creativity to raise cancer-fighting dollars. On event day, volunteers, teams and individuals typically gather at a school, park, or other venue and take turns walking around a track or path in honor of survivors and caregivers, and remembering those we've lost to the disease.

As part of this year's season kickoff, a virtual anniversary celebration will livestream throughout the day starting at 8:35 am ET today and includes a momentous look at the impact of Relay For Life events around the country. For more information about today's virtual celebration, visit

Be part of this historic year, and join the Relay For Life movement in any of the following ways:

  • Start or join a fundraising team
  • Make a donation
  • Volunteer to help plan or organize the event in your community
  • Invite a cancer survivor to be celebrated, or if you're a survivor, join us.

To learn more about Relay For Life, visit

SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Charaighn Sesock, 559-972-4877,