Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society's signature fundraiser that has taken place in Catonsville for more than 15 years, returns Saturday.
Supporters will walk the track at the Community College of Baltimore County's Catonsville campus over the course of the evening. The relay is one of more than 3,500 expected to take place nationwide this year, said Chrissy Schifkovitz, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society.
Locally, the American Cancer Society has raised more than half of its $60,000 goal. Last year, the event raised more than $84,000 for cancer research and the nonprofit's programs.
The event kicks off with a reception for cancer survivors, who will then walk the first lap at 4 p.m. A luminary ceremony, designed to remember those who lost their lives to cancer, will be held later. The event is scheduled to end at 10 p.m.
The American Cancer Society projects an estimated 31,820 new cancer cases this year and 10,650 cancer-related deaths in Maryland. Female breast cancer is projected to be the leading cause for new cancer cases this year, followed by lung and bronchus, prostate and colon and rectum. Lung and bronchus cancer is expected to be the leading cause of cancer deaths this year, followed by colon and rectum, pancreas and female breast.
Nationally, nearly 1.7 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer-related deaths are expected this year, according to the nonprofit.
As of May 30, 110 participants have signed up on 19 teams, though registration is open through the day of the event. As many as 300 people are expected to take part, Schifkovitz said.
Oliver Arnold, a 34-year-old financial planner from Catonsville, is taking part in the event for the first time as the captain of a team from the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce. His fiancee, Dana, is a cancer survivor and he was her caregiver.
He said he is looking forward to taking part in the event to support cancer research and the local community, as well as to meet fellow caregivers.
"Sometimes with people who are a little more adventurous or forward, we can kind of swap stories and talk about the experience," he said.