Members of Relay for Life of Santa Clarita valley held their annual Kick-Off Event to kick off the 2019 Relay For Life at Santa Clarita Lanes Sunday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Relay for Life season begins with bowling kick-off

Friends and families put on their bowling shoes at Santa Clarita Lanes on Sunday for a Relay for Life kick-off, months ahead of their next annual relay in May.

With 95 people participating, 18 different teams occupied lanes ready for play. Raffle tickets were also handed out for a chance to win prizes that were donated by team members such as DVDs, gift baskets, jewelry, sports equipment and wine.

Teams varied from small businesses to families, friends or support groups, like the ACS support group “Bosom Buddies.” Co-chairs Cass Stauffer and Leslie Borgen each had their own teams, Stauffer with the California State University Northridge Aquatics Center, where she is employed, and Borgen’s “Team Donnie,” in memory of her sister who passed away in 2014.

“It’s keeping her name alive and it’s also keeping my family together, and we’re all working towards helping and raise money towards cancer in my sister’s honor,” said Borgen.

In starting the relay season earlier and keeping it going until September, Borgen said that a revitalization of the organization’s events, which support the American Cancer Society, bring a new level of enthusiasm from those who want to continue participating.

“It can be fun as well as extremely rewarding,” she said. “For me, it’s rewarding because I’ve watched it grow.”

Admission for individual players was $25 per person, while $120 per each team with five people.

The upcoming Relay for Life will be on May 18-19. Previous relays last a whole 24 hours, whereas this year’s relay will consist of 18 hours. Other fundraisers will help account for the remaining six hours that make up what Relay for Life raises.

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