Ice cream social a time for community

Relay for Life benefits from event, signs up participants

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It was the perfect evening for ice cream, and a great time to help a great cause as more than 1,000 people flocked to Civic Green Park for the annual Highlands Ranch Metro District Ice Cream Social.

There was face-painting, live music and dancing, games, vendors, a demonstration by Littleton Fire and Rescue and, of course, lots of ice cream and conversation.

Proceeds from the July 10 event totaled $3,491, all of which went to benefit the American Cancer Society on behalf of the upcoming Highlands Ranch-Lone Tree Relay for Life. There were Relay committee members on hand to sign up and educate folks for the 12-hour event slated for July 26-27 at Cresthill Middle School.

As the American Cancer Society celebrates its 100th birthday this year, the local Relay for Life event is entering its 15th go-round. This year looks like the biggest yet, with 36 teams already signed up, said Chairwoman Dana Hall.

“We are very excited,” Hall said. “Relay for Life is all about representing cancer and how it does not sleep. We provide an opportunity for people to come out and for 12 hours, either as a team, solo, or as a couple, walk the track at Cresthill Middle School.

“All the money we raise goes to support American Cancer Society and their research and programs for our actual community.”

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. July 26, and Hall said people don’t have to sign up in advance, but it is $10 to participate in the relay.

“There is no minimum or maximum for fundraising, just come and enjoy the crowd,” she said. “This year we have secured food sponsorships for the entire event, so every hour on the hour there will be an opportunity to dine. We are also expanding the event for children, so we will have a much broader event schedule for children.”

The event begins with a survivor’s lap and is followed by a lap for all participants. There is a luminaria ceremony in which loved ones who have died from cancer are honored by lit bags around the track, and there will also be plenty of fun, social activities to keep people going through the night, such as Zumba and a talent show.

For the relay portion of the event, just one teammate needs to be on the track at any given time for each team throughout the course of the night.

“There are still opportunities for lap sponsorships for those who are interested,” said sponsorship chairman Rob Mangelson. “By sponsoring a lap, businesses are allowed to set up a booth for a full hour.”

For more information or to sign up as a sponsor or participant, please visit www.rflhr-lt.org, or contact Hall at dana@rflhr-lt.org. Cresthill Middle School is located at 9195 Cresthill Lane in Highlands Ranch.