More than 400 people have already signed up


Planning for Taft’s second Relay for Life to battle cancer is moving along.

There are 35 teams registered for the May 15-16 event at Taft High’s Patterson-O’Brien Field.

“I am amazed and humbled by our progress,” said event chair LaNell Howell, “and Relay is still about seven weeks away. 

“Even in tough economic times, people just come through because we all know someone who has been affected by cancer.  Taft is a small town with a huge heart, and I am proud to be a part of Taft’s second Relay for Life.”

The teams are adding members and raising money, she said.

A benefit softball tournament has been held to raise money for Relay.

More than 400 people have signed up with 35 teams.

Team members will take turns walking around the high school track during the 24-hour Relay fund-raiser.

This year’s goal is 38 teams, Howell said.

Jeremy Lalonde is the team chair. He can be contacted at

Information, including a list of the teams, can be found on

Opening ceremonies for the local event will be held at 9 a.m. on May 15 followed a half hour later by the cancer survivor’s lap. 

The “Fight Back” closing ceremonies will be held May 16 at 9 a.m.

A cancer survivors ice cream social will be held April 25 from 2-4 p.m. at the Historic Fort.

“We want as many survivors as possible to sign up for Relay,” Howell said.

A Paint the Town Purple event will be held April 1, with Relay volunteers decorating the town with purple ribbons.

Taft Relay planners are hoping to exceed last year’s impressive inaugural event.

Thirty-four teams with more than 500 participants raised just over $75,000.  The goal was $25,000.

A hundred and 25 cancer survivors took part.

Relay began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Wash., ran and walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society.