The American Cancer Society held its Relay For Life event at Crossroads School in Santa Monica Saturday and Sunday, July 26th and 27th, to raise funds for cancer research, prevention and early detection programs.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature family-oriented event in which teams collect donations, then take turns walking or running around a track for 24 hours.

When they were not on the track, team members and supporters camped out around the track enjoying live music, entertainment, food and support activities that further the fight against cancer. More than 400 relayers, including 65 cancer survivors, took part in the relay.

This year Relay For Life is taking place in 60 Los Angeles communities from April to September. Relay For Life is one of the largest nonprofit fundraising events in the world, according to the Americn Cancer Society, and in 2007 more than three million Americans participated in 5,000 relays across the U.S. and in 19 foreign countries, raising more than $402 million for research, prevention and early detection programs.

American Cancer Society officials said each Relay For Life reflects the character of the community in which it is held. In Santa Monica, a wellness classroom presented ongoing classes taught by chiropractors, doctors, acupuncturists and other health professionals.

The American Cancer Society’s California Division chief executive officer, David Veneziano, who previously served in the Los Angeles area, was in attendance at the event.

A candle-lighting Luminaria Ceremony in memory of those who have lost their lives to cancer and in honor of those who have survived or are fighting the disease was among the highlights of the event.

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