The Leavenworth County Relay For Life event kicked off with an opening ceremony 1 p.m. Saturday at Lansing Middle School.

This is the 25th year for the annual event in Leavenworth County. After the opening ceremony came the survivor lap and survivor dinner where 48 area cancer survivors were invited to walk the first lap in the relay before attending a special dinner in their honor.

Once the survivor lap had finished, relayers from 13 different teams picked up their paddles and began their laps around the track. More than 160 total participants walked the track during the event that ended at 10 p.m.

The event also included a frozen T-shirt contest, pie a politician fundraiser, messages to heaven balloon release and luminaria ceremony.

Event Co-Chair Katherine de la Cruz said this year’s event raised more than $60,000 for the American Cancer Society. 

“I (participate) because my family has been deeply affected by cancer. After losing my uncle, supporting my mom and becoming a three-time survivor myself, I knew I needed to go to work fundraising,” de la Cruz said. “My family relays in two counties every year and we fight together against cancer.”