Relay For Life Starts At Ashley Pond Park Tonight

Memorial luminarias are placed at the 2014 Relay for life. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/


The long-awaited Los Alamos Relay for Life begins with an Opening Celebration Ceremony recognizing cancer survivors and their caregivers at 6 p.m. tonight at Ashley Pond.

Feliciano Jiron, CEO of Los Alamos Medical Center (LAMC), and Manuel Luna, community manager for Great West Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) will welcome cancer survivors, caregivers, and everyone who shows up in support of the Los Alamos Relay for Life.

The Los Alamos High School Marching band will treat attendees to a few songs and then the Hill Stompers will lead the survivors around Ashley Pond in a celebratory victory lap. At 7p.m., Igor and the Red Elvises take the stage.


During the Red Elvises concert LAMC will host a Relay for Life tent in the parking lot near the stage where a variety of activities will be offered. Gillian Sutton of KRSN 1490AM has worked with Village Arts to coordinate the Birdhouse and Silent Auction.  There are more than 50 birdhouses designed and decorated by local artists and others that will be up for auction and on display, all to benefit the Relay for Life.

There are many other silent auction items donated by local merchants. There will also be a raffle for a Helicopter Flight for Two and Lunch with the Crew donated by Classic Air Medical and a second raffle for a Personal Tour of an LAFD Fire Station and Lunch with the Chief donated by the Los Alamos Fire Department.


Those interested in purchasing and decorating a luminaria in honor of a loved one should come to the LAMC tent. There they will find the paper bags, sand, and candles as well as art supplies and space to sit and create their special luminaria bag. The Luminaria Remembrance Ceremony will immediately follow the Red Elvises performance. Following the Remembrance Ceremony is the Karen Mehlin Memorial Pajama Lap. Karen Mehlin was a remarkably dedicated Relay for Life volunteer who lost her battle with cancer in July. Karen was especially supportive of the ACS lodging program provided for those undergoing cancer treatment far from home.

Relay teams are raising money in a variety of ways throughout the concert. There will be a dunk tank, and a bake sale as well as games and other activities. Relay volunteers will walk all night long to signify the battle against cancer that never rests. ACS has activities scheduled throughout the night to keep walkers motivated and moving into the wee hours.


Anyone wishing to spend the night at the event is welcome to bring a tent or a trailer, or whatever you and your friends and family might need to be comfortable. There will be port-a-potties and hand washing stations located in a few differences places around Ashley Pond to help make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Tent and trailer sites are on a first-come-first serve basis. The two primary locations (with several sites each) also have easy access to electricity.

The next morning breakfast burritos will be hosted by Los Alamos Pajarito Masonic Lodge #66. At 8 a.m., Cyndi Wells from Pet Pangea will lead a Good Morning Dog Walk, and at 8:30 a.m. YMCA dance instructor Vera Jaramillo will be leading her Zumba class from Ashley Pond. Everyone in the community is invited to attend. The Fight Back and Closing Ceremony begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning at the Ashley Pond stage.


It’s not too late! Those wanting to participate in the event can show up and sign up at the LAMC tent. For more information call Mary Beth Maassen at 505.412.1377 or Manuel Luna at 505.980.7945.

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