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Relay for Life events begin today

Two Relay for Life events are scheduled to begin today in Clearwater.

Sponsored by the Pinellas Unit of the American Cancer Society, the relays are at Countryside High School, 3060 McMullen-Booth Road, and at Clearwater Central Catholic High School, 2750 Haines Bayshore Road. Another will be at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport.

Family-oriented events begin at each site at 4 p.m. today when various teams representing businesses, organizations and individuals will set up tents and sleeping bags for an overnight stay.

Then, at 7 p.m., cancer survivors will participate in the first lap, called the Victory Lap. They will be followed by teams of people walking, running or skating around the field throughout the night.

At 9 p.m. today, a luminaria ceremony _ where candles are lit and placed around the track in memory of people who have lost their battle with cancer and for those who continue to fight the disease _ is scheduled.

Although the teams have been organized for a while, the public is welcome to attend the events or participate.

Angela McAuley, development director for the Cancer's Society's Pinellas unit, said the Pinellas unit's goal this year is to raise $201,000. So far, relays in other parts of the Tampa Bay area this month have netted more than $92,000.

For more information on the Relay for Life events, call 546-9822, ext. 7363, or show up at one of the sites.