ATLAS - The Mount Carmel Relay For Life held its kickoff event Thursday, Nov. 15, at Village Towne, Route 61.

Attendees included cancer survivors, past Relay participants and many new faces. Survivors were recognized for their battle against cancer with a small gift.

The 2013 Relay date has been set for June 22 and 23 at Mount Carmel Town Park, beginning at noon. "Hula for Hope," with a luau and beach-type focus, will be the theme.

Spectators at the Mount Carmel Christmas/Santa parade will get a sneak peek as the Relay group will participate with a bright, colorful float.

In addition to several other events in the 2013 fundraising year, the Bark for Life will be held at Town Park on Sunday, May 19. The goal is to make this a fun community event for Relayers of all ages.

"We want to thank everyone that attended our kickoff and hope that one and all spread the word to help make the Mount Carmel Relay for Life big," organizers said.

The public is welcome at the next meeting, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at Village Towne. All suggestions are encouraged and welcome.

For more information contact Charmaine Ryan, event chair, at 339-4532 or dcryan@ptd.net; Ilyse Hampton, event co-chair at 486-9893 or mtcarmelrelayforlife@gmail.com; or Theresa Ledney, American Cancer Society at 888-227-5445 or Theresa.ledney@cancer.org.

Relay For Life is a fun-filled, overnight event. Team members gather with tents and sleeping bags to participate in the largest fundraising walk in the nation. Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people every year to Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, Remember loved ones lost, and empower individuals and communities to Fight Back against a disease that takes too much from too many.