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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Participants make the rounds during Relay for Life

Claremont High School’s usual maroon was replaced with a sea of purple last Saturday as hundreds took over the football field for the annual Relay for Life, a global philanthropic walkathon in support of cancer research.

Tents and canopies filled the inner circle of the field as participants gathered for the 24-hour celebration, commemorating the everyday struggle faced by those with cancer and their caregivers. More than 400 participants and over 30 teams took turns circling the track. The event raised an estimated $56,000 to support further cancer research and help those who continue with their struggle.

Though attendance was lower than in past years, event co-organizer Nusha Shishegar remained positive that the goal of the event was accomplished

“We’ve come a long way, and everything went off really well,” Ms. Shishegar said.

Participants taking a break from walking, or simply there to check out the festivities, circled the field to enjoy food trucks, crafts and photo booths. Raffle baskets provided by local favorites like Wolfe’s Market were also hot commodities.

“There was a lot more going on this year,” Ms. Shishegar said. New additions included the food trucks and “the purple coach,” where participants could video record their relay experience. Live music was a particular highlight for Ms. Shishegar.

“It really changes the atmosphere,” she said. “It felt more like a celebration.”

Though the walkathon may be over, the mission still continues. Claremont/La Verne relay participants hope to reach at least $65,000—if not $80,000—by the end of the organization’s fiscal year August 1. Donations can be made to relayforlife.org/claremontca.

Less than a week after taking down the tents at this year’s event, plans are already in motion for next year’s relay. Those interested in getting involved are invited to send an email to claremontlavernerelay@gmail.com. The email will remain active year round.

“We want to find ways to get the community more involved,” Ms. Shishegar said. “This is the opportunity to make the event even better for next year.”

—Beth Hartnett

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