Relay for Life

Joshua Payne, assistant principal at Desert Shadows Middle School, along with parent Jenny Heredia and her daughter Sonia, decorate luminaries to set up around the track at Pierson Field for the Relay to Life event on Nov. 16.

Team members from various Nogales Unified School District schools and local organizations and sponsors gathered recently to plan the upcoming Relay for Life of Santa Cruz County, scheduled for 4-10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Pierson High School field.

The event raises funds to support cancer survivors and those battling the disease, while also bringing awareness of the impact of cancer.

“We are hoping to have involvement from across the entire Santa Cruz County as cancer effects everyone,” said Angel Canto, this year’s event chair. “Schools, organizations, businesses and even individuals can sign up to participate, and all money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.”

Some of the upcoming events in advance of the relay include a dinner for survivors, to be held starting at 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 12 at the Knights of Pythias clubhouse on the corner of Kino and Bayze streets. Survivors who would like to attend but who have not been contacted are asked to call Alma Romo, a member of the planning staff, at (520) 604-0422.

In addition, Lupita Grijalva, the Nogales High School Relay for Life team captain, is organizing the selling of paper links at the NHS-RRHS football game on Sept. 13 for an event that NHS Principal Tim Colgate is calling the Links for Life Challenge.

In addition to raising funding for the relay, Canto said, the hope is that the challenge will become a competition between fans of the two schools, who join in a fundraiser to fight cancer.

“Each school will roll out their paper chains and we will see whose chain is the longest,” Canto said.

Anyone who wants to participate in the Nov. 16 Relay for Life event or form a team can do so at or by emailing Canto at

(News release submitted by Kathy Scott of the Nogales Unified School District.)

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