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For the past 20 years, area residents have gathered in Fremont to honor and remember loved ones during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dodge County.

Leading up to the event, teams and individuals participate in fundraising before taking turns walking or running around the track at Midland University during the actual event.

Last year, more than 300 people participated in the Relay For Life of Dodge County event and raised more than $73,000 toward cancer research.

On Tuesday, the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dodge County is hosting a kick-off event to celebrate the upcoming 20th Annual local Relay For Life.

“It’s kind of interesting that our kick-off is on Feb. 20 and what we are doing is kicking off the 20th Annual Relay For Life in Dodge County,” Stephanie Stephenson, senior community manager of Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society High Plains Division, said in a Friday phone interview with the Tribune. “That evening we will welcome the general public as well as our team captains, members, survivors, and caregivers.”

The kick-off event was originally scheduled for Feb. 5, but had to be rescheduled to Feb. 20 due to inclement weather.

The kick-off celebration will be held on the third floor of Health Park Plaza at Fremont Health Center beginning at 6 p.m. All past participants including survivors, team captains, team members and the general public are encouraged to attend.

According to Stephenson, the event will include an update on the success of teams and total funds raised from last year’s event as well as a mission moment.

“We will also give a mission moment where we will talk about what is happening in February, because February is National Cancer Prevention Month,” she said. “So I will be sharing a message about how people can take care of themselves.”

There will also be an update on the money raised so far this year, and the opportunity for interested parties to sign up as an individual or a team. Although the official kick-off event has yet to be held, the Relay For Life of Dodge County had already raised over $4,000 toward its $76,000 goal for the year at press time.

The kick-off event will also serve as a platform to announce upcoming fundraising events for the Relay For Life, which include a Taco Night benefit as well as Bark For Life.

Fundraising events will be held throughout the year leading up to this year’s Relay For Life event, which is scheduled from 4-11 p.m. June 9 on the campus of Midland University.

The Relay for Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community with 4 million participants in 6,000 events worldwide in 2017.

Call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.relayforlife.org/dodgecone to learn more.

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