Relay for Life

Throughout the United States, cities and towns host Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's annual fundraising event. Three such events will take place Saturday, May 31, in the Rogue Valley. Community members have formed teams to walk in relay during overnight vigils to be held at Raider Stadium at Southern Oregon University, Spiegelberg Stadium at South Medford High School and at Grants Pass High School.

The event in Ashland will feature performances by local bands and musicians throughout the day. It all begins at 10 a.m. with a talk by SOU President Mary Cullinan. Survivors of cancer will take the first lap at the Raider track, led by drumming group Samba Like It Hot. A lunch will be served afterward.

There will be 28 teams that will walk laps until 8 a.m. Sunday, June 1. Each team will have a camp site decorated in the theme of "Woodstock: Peace, Love, Flowers and a Cure." Information about ACS will be available at each camp site, and each team will host activities to raise money to find a cure.

The live entertainment will begin at 11 a.m. with emcee Brian O'Connor and original folk music by Emy Phelps and Bob DiChiro. Phelps was a founding member of the Ashland-based band Borderline, and she has performed at high-profile folk music festivals across the country.

At noon, Ashland Taiko will perform traditional drumming music of Japan. The eight-member performance group is led by Pamela Vellutini.

Pete Herzog and Matt Fawcett will present songs-in-the-round at — p.m. The two musicians play blues, bluegrass and acoustic soul music.

Strange Love, a band featuring high school students Willis Plummer on guitar, Matt Kandaris on bass and Logan Schrewsbury on drums, will play rock 'n' roll at 2 p.m.

The Mighty Lonesomes, an Ashland-based bluegrass band featuring Patrick Connell on guitar, Thad Jacobson on banjo, Phil Johnson on mandolin and Peter Koelsch on upright bass, will present instrumentals and harmonies at — p.m.

Penguins on a Rock, featuring Jack Fischer on guitar, Delonde Bell on bass and guitar, Russ Rodriguez on congas, Steven Lindley on drums and George Clark on harmonica, will present original rock 'n' roll music written by Fischer.

Alba Flamenco, featuring Grant Ruiz, Rose Marie Mayer, Linda Marie Greenburg and Terry Longshore, will perform at 5 p.m.

Montana Soul will present alternative rhythm and blues at 6 p.m. The group features Tom Klinefelter and Ken Bendat on guitars, Anna Christiansen on percussion and Richard Cole on bass.

And guitarist and songwriter Gene Burnett will perform at 7 p.m.

The live entertainment ends with the Luminaria Ceremony at 8 p.m. The ceremony is in honor of those who lost their lives to cancer. Luminaria bags will be placed around the track and lit at dusk.

For more information, call 779-6092.

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