Support the fight against cancer at Ashland's Relay for Life

Locals will be raising money to fight cancer at Ashland's Relay for Life on Saturday, May 31, at Southern Oregon University's Raider Stadium.

Relay for Life is a fundraiser by the American Cancer Society's that takes place on various weekends throughout the United States.

Prior to the event, teams of eight to 15 people collect sponsors and then gather with tents and sleeping bags at Relay for Life with the goal of keeping someone on the track at all times for 24 hours.

Medford and Grants Pass are also holding Relay for Life events this weekend.

The schedule for Ashland is as follows:

10 a.m. Opening ceremonies with keynote speaker Mary Cullinan, SOU President. Cancer survivors are invited to be honored and take the first lap around the track, led by the Samba Like-It-Hot drumming group. Lunch will be served immediately afterward. This year's entertainment emcee will be Brian O'Connor, a DJ at LITE 102.

11 a.m. Emy Phelps and Bob DiChiro will perform original American roots music. Singer and guitarist Phelps was a founding member of the local Ashland Oregon band, Borderline and has shared the stage with Ricky Scaggs, Bruce Hornsby, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Duke McVinnie, Willis Alan Ramsey and The Sally Van Meter Band.

noon Ashland Taiko &

a group that evolved from a class offered during recess at Briscoe Elementary in 2001 &

will perform the traditional drumming music of Japan.

1 p.m. Songs-in-the-Round will feature blues and bluegrass songs by Pete Herzog, while Matt Fawcett calls his songs "acoustic soul music."

2 p.m. Strange Love, a rock band comprised of high school students, will perform, with Willis Plummer on guitar and vocals, Matt Kandaris on bass and Logan Schrewsbury on drums.

3 p.m. Ashland bluegrass band The Mighty Lonesomes will play tight instrumentation and two-, three- and four-part harmonies.

4 p.m. Penguins on a Rock will perform original rock and roll with guitars, bass, drums, congas and harmonica.

5 p.m. Alba Flamenco will play music from Spain.

6 p.m. Montana Soul will perform covers and originals of what it calls "organic folk rock," a mixture of alternative rhythm and blues and soulful vocal harmonies.

7 p.m. Gene Burnett, with a repertoire of more than 300 songs, will sing his ballads about everyday life.

8 p.m. The Luminaria Ceremony will end the day's events. People may purchase luminaria bags and decorate them in honor of someone who has survived cancer or in memory of someone who has died. At dusk, the bags will be placed around the track and lit candles will be placed inside them. The ceremony begins with the reading of the names on the bags.

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