Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista high schools will be banning together this weekend for the annual Relay for Life in efforts to raise funds for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Event chair, John Heredia, has participated in Relay for Life throughout his four years at Mountain Pointe, and said it was a way to fund research for ACS.

Relay for Life is a special event for Heredia because both his grandmothers were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Heredia said Relay for Life was a special event for the community of Ahwatukee because many people are affected by cancer.

“It’s the one time that Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe can come together peacefully and do something for a good cause,” he said. “The community is really supportive and everyone wants to try and do anything we can to stop or find a cure for cancer because nobody wants to lose anyone else.”

Relay for Life sponsor, Carrie Johnson, has participated with Relay for Life for the past 10 years, serving as a sponsor and a committee member.

“We typically have over 100 teams participate in the event each year, raising roughly $120,000 to $150,000 for the American Cancer Society each year. The event provides a truly unique opportunity for the Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high school students to come together with the Ahwatukee community to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society,” Johnson said. “All proceeds go directly to ACS, helping them to fund vital research, patient care and treatment, recovery support programs, and much more.”

There will be other types of activities during Relay for Life such as performances, a dinner and luminaria ceremony.

“We also have many individuals who choose to participate in our 10 at 2 event, where participants walk or run for 10 straight miles at 2 a.m. to bring awareness to the fact that cancer never sleeps,” Johnson said, adding that she has been blown away from the hard work and dedication each student provided to make the event special.

“On a personal level, I am extremely passionate about this event. As someone who lost my own father to cancer, I have watched too many students, friends, and family members battle cancer in many different forms,” she said. “I am blown away every single year by how hard our students work to make this event a success. They show incredible compassion and dedication to making a difference, and I could not be more proud of them.”

Relay for Life will take place this Saturday, April 12, at Mountain Pointe’s track, 4201 E. Knox Road, with the event open to the public from 1 to 10 p.m. It will end on Sunday, April 13, at 7 a.m.

For more information about Relay for Life, visit www.tuhsd.k12.az.us.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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