Douglas Relay for Life merges with Carson event |

Douglas Relay for Life merges with Carson event

Lena Frias (right), Douglas County Relay For Life Chairperson, blows bubbles in the direction of cancer survivors and caregivers during the first lap of the event July 16 in Lampe Park.
Brad Coman |

After two years of trying to increase participation in Douglas County’s Relay for Life, organizers have merged it with the Carson City event.

“We know it’s a big step for Douglas to merge with Carson and we’re going to open our arms as wide as we can and welcome Douglas as warmly as we can,” said Mary Bowers, coordinator for both events.

The combined Carson-Douglas event is scheduled for May 20 in Mills Park.

Until last year Carson City’s Relay happened in late summer, but Bowers said participants wanted to be able to involve the schools.

“We look at it as new beginnings,” Bowers said. “Carson City is very excited to have Douglas County on board. I feel the sky is the limit.”

She said the two events were so close in participation that coordinators felt combining them would help.

“We felt we could be a force to be reckoned with if we joined together,” she said. “Our efforts combined could do that much more great work in reaching the community.”

Bowers said that two committee members from Douglas have joined the effort and are getting the word out to Douglas residents.

A kick-off event is scheduled for Feb. 22 at Empire Ranch Golf Course.

Both Douglas and Carson have raised thousands of dollars for cancer research over the years.

As recently as 2010, the Douglas event attracted more than 1,000 people and raised in excess of $112,000.

However, in recent years both participation and the amount of money raised in Gardnerville decreased, dropping to $56,000 in 2012 and $19,000 in 2014.

Douglas County organizers tried to revive it in 2015 by moving the event — typically held outdoors and lasting 24 hours — into the Douglas County Community and Senior Center and reducing the length to 12 hours.

The 2016 event marked the 17th year Relay for Life was held in Douglas County.

The American Cancer Society and Relay for Life events are staffed by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries.

Relay participants take turns with team members walking around a designated track from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Relay for Life organizers are hoping to raise $55,000 this year. So far, they have $12,218.

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