Relay For Life is the world's largest volunteer-based fundraising event. For more then 36 years, communities across the world have come together to honor and remember loved ones and take action for lifesaving change. At Relay For Life you'll find community members taking turns walking around a track lined with luminaria bags.

The Relay For Life movement is dedicated to helping communities attack cancer. Through funds donated, time given, or awareness raised, communities team up - virtually or in person - to make a difference.

Join Williston's Upper Missouri Relay for Life Christmas in July at the Raymond Family Community Center, July 28 from 4:00 pm to 11:30 pm. We will celebrate our survivors, remember those we have lost, and fight back as a community to end cancer.

Thanks to all the incredible volunteers over the years in Williams County. Due to their hard work and dedication, Upper Missouri Relay for Life has raised over 3 million dollars in over 25 years within our region. Those funds have helped cancer patients receive lodging and transportation support, helped save lives with cancer research, and have alleviated the feeling of loneliness for cancer patients and survivors through the Reach to Recovery Program.

Their goal this year is to raise $150,000. So far, there are only ten teams participating, but there's room for more! Sadly, over the years team numbers have been going down. Let's get those participation numbers back up to where they used to be! There will be team meetings June 27, July 20, July 25 for anyone interested in forming a team or volunteering for the event. Meetings are held at 6:00 pm at the Lutheran Brethren Fellowship Church. (213 26th Street East in Williston). For more information call Janessa Storlie at 701-639-7786 or email

When you sign up for Relay, you can choose to lead a team in your community, join an existing team, or participate solo. However you choose to participate, get friends and family to join you - more people means more power to fight cancer. Send emails and texts. Set up a Facebook Fundraiser. There are lots of ways to raise money for Relay. Come together virtually or in person at a Relay event to support community, honor survivors, and celebrate our impact.

The Luminaria Ceremony is a signature element of every Relay For Life event. At nightfall, these homemade paper lanterns, decorated with the names of loved ones, are lit in honor and in memory of a life touched by cancer. The ceremony includes a moment of silence for those we have lost. When you make a donation for a Luminaria, you are honoring a loved one while helping the American Cancer Society continue to fight cancer on all fronts.

History of Relay for Life

One person can make a difference. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.

Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.

After previously battling stomach cancer, Gordy passed away from heart failure on August 3, 2014 at the age of 71. But his legacy lives on. He shaped an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global fundraising phenomenon.

We walk for our family, friends and neighbors. When we rally together in the fight against cancer, we can accomplish anything. We’re stronger together and every step brings hope. Money raised goes to the American Cancer Society. Fundraising makes a difference in research, education, advocacy and health equity.

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