High-energy fundraiser for cancer research approaching
Participants at the 2008 Relay For Life pass the light from one candle to the next during the luminaria ceremony while cure is spelled out on the stadium stands.

A night of music, laughs, shopping and charity is finding its way to Ahwatukee this weekend.

Residents will come together April 15 to raise money for the American Cancer Society with the fourth annual concert to benefit Relay for Life in Ahwatukee.

Relay for Life is a global event meant to bring awareness and celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The event typically consists of teams of people camping out at parks, high schools, or other community grounds and taking turns walking or running around a track. Events last up to 24 hours and have become traditional in countless communities.

Sarah Pyper, coordinator for the concert to benefit Relay for Life, said the idea of having a concert was a way to get all community members involved and excited about the event while gaining donations for the American Cancer Society.

"Relay for Life is something many people love to get involved in and what we wanted to do is have a fun way to show support and raise money for such an incredible cause." she said, adding that she first learned about Relay for Life from her children and went around to local establishments trying to get donations from neighbors and friends when she met local bands and came up with the idea to have a benefit concert.

"We have bands from all around the Valley playing everything from soul to rock so there is something for every musical taste," Pyper said. "We even have individual singers and bands from high schools in the area coming out and performing."

Pyper said all of the bands play for free and local vendors donate food and beverages so that all proceeds made from the concert go to the charity.

"In the past three years we have been making more and more money for this cause and the community response has been incredible." she said.

One aspect being introduced this year is the opportunity to shop at the event. Pyper said that more than eight local vendors, including Colored With Love, Drift Wood, and Lucky Lady, have decided to come and sell their products at the concert with 10 percent of the profits going to Relay for Life.

The concert will be from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, April 15 at Ahwatukee Custom Estates, 11827 S. Montezuma Court. Admission is $10 for students and $25 for adults.

"This concert lets kids and adults come together and hear great music, and have a lot of fun all while benefiting a great cause." Pyper said.

For more information about the concert to benefit Relay for Life, contact Pyper at (602) 206-3434.

• Vanja Veric is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a freshman at Arizona State University.

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