TALLMADGE — Volunteers will stage a shortened Relay For Life this year in hopes of enticing more participants to support the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. Though reduced in length, participants’ passion for eradicating the disease which cuts short many lives remains undiminished, according to Jamie Zychowski, who coordinates the Tallmadge Relay on behalf of the American Cancer Society. 

The 15th annual Relay For Life of Tallmadge will take place at the city’s Recreation Center, 46 N. Munroe Road, on Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. During the six hours, funds are raised for cancer education, cancer screenings, transportation and housing for cancer patients and research to find a cure. "We had seen a decline in teams the past few years," Zychowski said, "so we decided to change it up a bit this year. We have already seen an increase of seven new teams since the switch."

While some aspects of the Relay are intended to provide time for reflection and closure, others will provide an opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one who’s died or someone who is beating the disease. Survivors and their caregivers are expected to take an emotional lap around the track about 3:15 p.m. There will be a luminary ceremony in honor and memory of those who have battled cancer at 8 p.m. Luminaria may be purchased onsite and if you can’t make it to the relay, you have the ability to buy and dedicate them online by visiting RelayForLife.org/tallmadge.

Teams will take turns walking the track during the event. Games and carnival-type foods will be available as a way for teams to raise funds onsite. A bounce house, disc jockey and live music will be provided.

This year’s goal for the Tallmadge Relay For Life is $50,000. There are currently 16 teams participating, and so far there are 150 registered participants.

To sign up, go to RelayForLife.org/tallmadge. You may visit the Relay Facebook page at www.facebook.com/relayforlifeoftallmadge. For more information, contact Zychowski at jamie.zychowski@cancer.org.

Reporter Ellin Walsh can be reached at 330-541-9419, ewalsh@recordpub.com or @EllinWalsh_RPC.