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Relay For Life is a community based fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. Each year, more than 5,000 Relay For Life events take place in over twenty countries. Events are held in local communities, campus universities and in virtual worlds. As the American Cancer Society’s most successful fundraiser and the organization’s signature event, the mission of Relay For Life is to raise funds to improve cancer survival, decrease the incidence of cancer, and improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their caretakers.
A Relay For Life event is organized under a volunteer Relay Committee, and implemented by volunteers. It is often organized as a multi-day public gathering, spanning all day and night in a large outdoor space, and many people bring tents and camp out around the walking tracks. Currently, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States.
It is estimated that Relay For Life events have raised nearly $5 billion to date. The first team to raise over $1 million was the Rosebud Miners. The largest virtual fundraising event is Relay For Life of Second Life, which has raised more than $2,000,000 since 2005.