Downtown Warren Square closed for Relay for Life - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Downtown Warren Square closed for Relay for Life

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WARREN, Ohio -

It's known as one of the largest Relay for Life events in the state. Drivers in Warren should expects delays and road closures as preparations begin. 

Several downtown Warren streets will be closed beginning Thursday evening through Saturday night. 

The following streets will be closed starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday: 
Mahoning Avenue, at High Street and Market Street
Market Street, at Mahoning Avenue and Park Avenue
High Street, at Mahoning Avenue and Park Avenue
Park Avenue, at Market Street and High Street

The streets will reopen to traffic Saturday at 11 p.m. 

The annual fundraiser and celebration for the American Cancer Society, is marking its 26th year in Warren.

This year's Relay will kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 10, with the Survivors Lap and will conclude in the afternoon on Saturday, May 11. 

The event was brought to the area in 1993 by Dr. Robert Brodell, a local dermatologist who was looking for a way to give back to the community. That first Relay For Life in Warren raised about $28,000 with 12 teams participating.

Since then, thousands of people - cancer survivors, their caregivers and those who want to make a difference in the fight against cancer - have gathered annually and raised more than $8 million for the American Cancer Society.

Organizers say The Warren Relay For Life remains one of the largest Relays in the United States per capita, and is the largest Relay event in the state of Ohio.

The success of the Warren Relay led to sister Relays in neighboring communities such as Niles, Liberty, and Cortland.

While Relay For Life began in Warren 26 years ago, the very first Relay For Life took place in Tacoma, Wash., in 1985. Dr. Gordon "Gordy" Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, wanted to raise money and awareness for cancer research, so he walked for 24 hours on the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound. He solicited pledges for his walk and raised $27,000.  Today, Relay For Life takes place in thousands of communities in 24 countries around the world. 

Funds raised through Relay For Life go to American Cancer Society programs and services for cancer patients, such as the Look Good, Feel Better program, which offers cosmetics, skin care and beauty tips to women with cancer; the Road to Recovery, which provides transportation for cancer patients to and from treatments; and Hope Lodge, which offers free lodging near large hospitals and universities for cancer patients who need to seek treatment away from home.
 

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