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Performing for a cause

Throughout the United States, cities and towns host Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society's annual fundraising event, and three relays have been scheduled for Saturday, May 31, in the Rogue Valley.

Teams will walk in relay during overnight vigils to be held at Raider Stadium at Southern Oregon University, Spiegelberg Stadium at South Medford High School and at Grants Pass High School.

The event in Ashland will feature performances by local bands and musicians. It begins at 10 a.m. with a talk by SOU President Mary Cullinan. Cancer survivors will take the first lap at the Raider track, led by the drumming group, Samba Like It Hot. Lunch will be served afterward.

There will be 28 teams walking laps until 8 a.m. Sunday, June 1. Each team will have a campsite decorated in the theme of "Woodstock: Peace, Love, Flowers and a Cure." Information about the cancer society will be available at each campsite, and each team will host activities to raise money to find a cure.

Live entertainment will begin at 11 a.m. with emcee Brian O'Connor and folk music by Emy Phelps and Bob DiChiro.

At noon, Ashland Taiko will perform traditional Japanese drumming music. The eight-member group is led by Pamela Vellutini.

Pete Herzog and Matt Fawcett will present songs-in-the-round at 1 p.m. The two musicians play blues, bluegrass and acoustic soul music.

Strange Love, a band featuring high school students Willis Plummer on guitar, Matt Kandaris on bass and Logan Schrewsbury on drums, will play rock 'n' roll at 2 p.m.

The Mighty Lonesomes, an Ashland-based bluegrass band featuring Patrick Connell on guitar, Thad Jacobson on banjo, Phil Johnson on mandolin and Peter Koelsch on upright bass, will present instrumentals and harmonies at 3 p.m.

Penguins on a Rock, featuring Jack Fischer on guitar, Delonde Bell on bass and guitar, Russ Rodriguez on congas, Steven Lindley on drums and George Clark on harmonica, will present rock 'n' roll music written by Fischer.

Alba Flamenco, featuring Grant Ruiz, Rose Marie Mayer, Linda Marie Greenburg and Terry Longshore, will perform at 5 p.m.

Montana Soul, featuring Tom Klinefelter and Ken Bendat on guitars, Anna Christiansen on percussion and Richard Cole on bass. will present alternative rhythm and blues at 6 p.m.

Guitarist and songwriter Gene Burnett will perform at 7 p.m.

The live entertainment ends with a luminaria ceremony at 8 p.m. to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer. Luminaria bags will be placed around the track and lit at dusk.

For more information on the Ashland event, call 779-6092.

The Relay For Life event to be held at South Medford High School, 815 S. Oakdale Ave., will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday with an opening ceremony to honor cancer survivors, who will take the first lap around the Spiegelberg track. A reception with desserts will follow. Food and activities will be presented throughout the day, including the third annual Miss-Ter Relay contest at 3 p.m. and a live auction to benefit Hematology Oncology Associates at 7:15 p.m.

The live entertainment begins at 5 p.m. with a karate demonstration by a Chip Wright team. Dance Energy will perform at 6:30 p.m., and Hawaiian dance group Jula O'Kahawai will perform at 8 p.m.

The luminaria ceremony will be at 9:30 p.m., and many activities will be held throughout the night. Teams will walk until 8 a.m., and campsites will be decorated in the theme of "Superheroes Walk Among Us: Toon in for a Cure." Call 779-6092 for more information.

The 2008 Relay For Life in Grants Pass will take place Saturday at Grants Pass High School, 830 N.E. Ninth St., with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. The event's theme will be "There's No Place Like Hope." Cancer survivors will be honored with the first lap around the track, T-shirts, medals and goodie bags. Activities and food will be available throughout the day, and a Ceremony of Hope featuring luminaria will begin at 9 p.m. Call 787-7870 or 659-2601.

Performing for a cause