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19th annual Bridge to a Cure event is this Friday, Aug. 2

In 18 years, the Hastings chapter of the American Cancer Society has raised more than $1 million during its annual Bridge to a Cure events.

More will be raised this Friday, Aug. 2, when the 19th annual Relay for Life Bridge to a Cure is held from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Hastings High School.

The name has been changed this year — “Relay for Life” is back as part of the official title.

“Relay for Life has worldwide recognition and now, we can use the extensive support and training it offers for our committee,” said co-chair Laura Leak.

The funds that have been raised from the Bridge to a Cure — more than $1 million — have always gone to support the American Cancer Society, she stressed.

Since the first Bridge to a Cure, Jay Kochendorfer of Adagio DJay Entertainment, has been a major sponsor and has performed as DJ each year. He would not have it any other way, he said.

“I have always had a soft spot, a huge heart for charity,” said Kochendorfer. “This is an event when friends, family extended family come to in a time of need. They do it for a cause which is very worthwhile.”

The evening also provides a slower time, a time for a little relaxing, from his usual busy schedule, said Kochendorfer.

“It is so neat,” he said.

“My favorite is the reflections from survivors and others about those who have passed away,” he said. “My job is to bring music into the evening, and the memories last a lifetime.”

“The Relay for Life Bridge to a Cure brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups, people from all walks of life — all aimed at celebrating the lives of those who have had cancer, remembering those lost, and fighting back against the disease,” said Leak.

The event colors, including the event T-shirt, will be purple and white of the Relay for Life brand. However, the Bridge to a Cure logo familiar for many years, will be on the back of the shirt.

So far, 13 teams have signed up to participate Friday evening.

The first lap is for the survivors, followed by a lap for the caregivers.

The lighting of the luminaries will be at 9:30 p.m. They can be purchased Friday evening. There will be music, children’s activities, food, informational booths. Donations for the American Cancer Society will be accepted.

For more information, contact Leak at 651-283-9649 or or Linda Kampa at 651-437-6218 or