Relay for Life: A Community Fight Against Cancer

Our impactful, local Relay for Life Event is coming up soon

Cancer is a common enemy that we can all agree to come together and tackle to the best of our abilities.

Many people have either been affected personally by cancer or know someone close to them who has been. Even if you haven’t been affected by cancer, there are easy ways to support the fight against it; our local Relay for Life event this month, which funds the American Cancer Society, is one of them.

Though these Relay for Life events are held all over the world, supporting your local community is extra special. Every year has a theme, and this year’s is “wishing for a world with more birthdays.” The 2022 date of the Relay for Life Benicia, Vallejo, and Napa Valley is coming up on Saturday, August 6th at 10:00am-Sunday, August 7th at 10:00am. It’s spearheaded by the Event Chair Kim Cooper and Co-Chair Toni Kendall; St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School will be hosting the event at their track. There will be free parking available in the high school’s parking lot.

Everyone is encouraged to join a team.

Some groups are smaller while others represent businesses and local groups, including Benicia Jazzercise, Benicia Plumbing, and Soroptimist International of Benicia (they’ve proudly logged over 20 years as Relay participants). Since the event lasts for 24 hours, one challenge or goal is to have one team member walking the track at any given time.

Other than walking the track, there will be plenty to do, experience, and take in.

Teams will be able to set up campsites and sell items like food, jewelry, books and arts & crafts. There will be a fashion show this year along with live music, raffles, and games. As the sun sets and the sky gets dark, Luminaria bags that line the tracks are lit up as a powerful beacon of reflection in honor of survivors, as well as a remembrance for all who have lost their lives to cancer.

Sissy Coffeen, who is involved with the Benicia Relay for Life as well as Soroptimist International of Benicia, recounts a memory from a previous year.

“During the day, I found myself eating ice cream, walking the track with my friends, then crying at the Luminaria Ceremony listening to survivors who just gave heartfelt speeches,” she says.

The day and evening portions can bring about various emotions, but all ages are absolutely welcome.

100 percent of funds raised from this event go directly to the American Cancer Society, and Coffeen shares a bit on what the proceeds are used for. 

“Fighting cancer takes a lot of money,” shares Coffeen. “Such funds are used for research, free rides to chemo, lodging near hospitals, and so much more.”

Whether you’d like to dive in and join a team or would simply like to make a donation, there’s still time to do so—visit to get started! If you’d like a little bit more information in the event or are interested in volunteering, please contact Sissy Coffeen directly at