AYER -- The American Cancer Society will "Paint the Town Purple" in celebration of its annual Relay For Life event.

On Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Relay For Life volunteers will be setting up booths on Main Street with team fundraising activities including food and entertainment for all ages.

ACS would like to encourage area groups, churches, businesses and other community members to come visit these booths, set up your own fundraising booth and/or form a team for the Relay For Life of Ayer. This is the community's opportunity to join the American Cancer Society's signature fundraising event. We encourage all businesses on Main Street, in Ayer, to decorate their store fronts in purple on that day.

If you would like information as to how you can organize your own team for the Relay For Life event or the requirements to participate in "Paint the Town Purple," please contact Darlene Chesbrough at 978-772-2666. You can also get information about the Relay and/or make a donation by visiting the table that will be set up in front of the Town Hall on May 17.

Hundreds of community members are expected to participate in the annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Greater Ayer at the Ayer-Shirley Regional High School, 141 Washington St., Ayer.

The Relay will run from 6 p.m., Friday, June 27 through June 28. Closing ceremony will be at 10 a.m. The Cancer Survivors' Lap will take place Friday at 6:20 p.m.


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, and will feature survivors taking a victory lap around the track. Also, highlighting the evening is a Luminaria Ceremony, set for 9 p.m., which honors cancer survivors and those who are no longer with us. Luminaria will line the track and light the way throughout the night, reminding participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups ... people from all walks of life, all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening.

In 2014, more than 95 Relay for Life events are planned in Massachusetts, which are expected to raise more than $11 million to benefit the American Cancer Society. Funds raised at Relay For Life are enabling the American Cancer Society to impact the lives of those touched by cancer within the community by supporting vital, cutting-edge cancer research; providing cancer patients with services such as transportation to treatment, free lodging at the Hope Lodge and round-the-clock support at our national cancer information center available at 1-800-227-2345 anytime, day or night; publishing lifesaving literature on cancer prevention, detection and tobacco control; and developing a new generation of medicines that help those battling cancer.