OGDEN -- Relay for Life is coming up and this year the event in Ogden will have a whole new look and feel.
The overnight event will be held June 24-25 in downtown Ogden at the Municipal Park and Amphitheater, said Jamie Riccobono, community relationship manager for the American Cancer Society and relay. Several entertainers are scheduled to perform and the committee has a goal to have 100 teams registered by the time of the event.
A kickoff will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 31 at Fat Cats at the Junction. Anyone interested in learning more about Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society is invited to attend. If you register to be on a team by Jan. 31, the cost will be $25. Free bowling and pizza will also be provided.
"We're really excited for this relay," Riccobono said. "Ogden has the oldest relay in Utah. This will be the 18th year and we are completely revamping the event."
Relay for Life is an event held across the nation to celebrate the lives of people who have survived cancer. It's also a place for people to remember loved ones who lost the battle. Teams of people camp out overnight during the relay and take turns walking laps to raise money for cancer research and treatment.
Riccobono said attendance numbers have fallen in recent Relay for Life events, so she hopes the new location and added activities will prompt more people to participate.
"The relay has gone through ups and downs and this is our chance to make a change and get the whole community involved and get Ogden back on the map," she said. "So many people have been affected by cancer and we want them to know there are resources available and a place where they can come together and help fight this terrible disease."
Melinda Stoor is a volunteer co-chairman for Relay for Life this year. She's also a cancer survivor.
"About nine years ago I was feeling out of breath and was losing weight. I went to the doctor and found out that I was pregnant with my fourth child," Stoor said.
After visiting her gynecologist, Stoor learned she had stage IV Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. She was given a 20 percent chance of surviving.
"I had a doctor come into my hospital room and ask me if I needed help finding someone who would perform an abortion," she said. "I asked for Dr. Joan Eggert and she came and saw me. She and her husband stayed up all night doing research and she told me she would help me through the pregnancy while I got chemotherapy treatments."
Stoor delivered a healthy little boy, Aaron, who suffers no ill effects from her cancer treatments.
"He goes to Relay for Life with me every year and I make sure he gets a T-shirt because he's a cancer survivor too," she said. "I haven't been declared cancer-free and they've told me I have a 50 percent chance of it coming back. I wish I had known about Relay for Life at the time because it would have really helped me. That's why I want to help as many people learn about it as I can. I want people to know that it's a place where they can come and celebrate and remember with other people."
A survivor reception will be held June 24 at the Ben Lomond Hotel, followed by the opening ceremony and activities.
"We've got live bands, dance groups, gymnastics groups and several restaurants have offered to donate a portion of their proceeds to the American Cancer Society," Riccobono said.
To register call Melinda at 801-721-6420 or JoLyn at 801-643-7163. You can also register online at www.relayforlife/webercountyut.