The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life will start its sixth year in Ely on Friday with a “Survivor’s Dinner” at Elk’s Hall at 5 p.m. followed by the official opening ceremonies at Broadbent Park at 8 p.m. The popular fundraiser for cancer research has already generated close to $55,000 in donations and garnered over 350 participants.

Ely’s relay Event Chairman Christina Sawyer said that the event is a great fit for Ely because cancer has touched so many resident’s lives.

“I believe in our community we have a high population of cancer survivors. I think that Relay for Life hits at a level where it gives the people a level of power back and to take a stand to do something about it,” Sawyer said.

The actual “relay” is an 18-hour continuous walk around Broadbent Park, with teams having members take shifts throughout the entirety of the time. Sawyer said she expects anywhere from 400 to 700 participants at any given time during the walk.

Money raised will go towards finding a cure for cancer by supporting the latest medical research. Relay for Life is the largest global fundraiser in  the world for cancer research.