Residents from around Marquette County have gathered at the Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming for the Relay for Life.

The event is aimed at raising money and awareness for the fight against cancer. Many of the participants are either survivors of cancer or know someone who has fought, is fighting, or has lost their life to cancer.

“I’m kind of in a unique situation in that I don’t have cancer in my family and I kind of want to keep it that way so I got the chance to be involved with Relay for Life and jumped at it,” chairperson and fifth-year team captain Diane Stacey said. “I’ve come back every year because it’s such a great cause and, so far, still no cancer in my family. I want to help those that have not been that lucky.”

There are many smaller events within the larger fundraiser that help raise money for the cause, ranging from making your own ice cream to a field hockey tournament. There’s a great sense of camaraderie that develops from this event that helps many remember what it’s all about.

“Everybody’s been touched by cancer in one way or another,” co-chair Don Fassbender said. “If we’ve had a family member taken by cancer or if we know someone who is currently fighting the fight, we want them to know that we’re here for them.”

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s primary fundraising event, and despite its name, there is no actual baton passing.