The countdown has already begun and more than $14,000 has been raised for the largest annual fund-raising event put on by Ahwatukee Foothills high schools.

Relay for Life will take place at Desert Vista High School on April 16, but residents are already showing their support for the event, which benefits the American Cancer Society.

On Feb. 26, Nick Henderson and his friends put on "Rave for Relay" at the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA. They charged a $5 entry fee and brought in more than $1,000 for the organization.

"We're just really happy to be able to give back to the community," he said. "At Desert Vista, we are really big on Relay for Life so this event to raise money for them seemed like the best thing to do."

Henderson decided to do a fund-raising event with dancing because it was a way to attract other students. He added that there would be no drinking or drugs allowed.

"We are keeping it very clean and it was a safe way to spend a Saturday night," he said. "I just thought it'd be so much fun to get 200 people together and raise money and still have fun with it at the same time."

The main event on April 16 involves students walking or running around the track at DV overnight to raise money. Students from Mountain Pointe are also participating and in the coming months, the two schools will "compete" to see who can raise the most money. The staff, students and parents will be selling raffle tickets for a basket of Thunder or Pride merchandise, which includes tickets to the Tukee Bowl 2011.

To find out more, e-mail ahwatukee.relayforlife@gmail.com.

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