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An event described by organisers as both emotional and inspirational was launched at Dunedin's Edgar Centre this week.
Cancer Society Otago-Southland fund-raiser June Porter-Mills said up to 135 teams could take to the track at the University Oval for the 2009 Relay for Life fund-raiser next February.
During the relay, sponsored teams of up to 10 members carry a baton continuously for 24 hours.
The event raised $337,000 for the society in 2007.
"We are really heartened to see the majority of team captains from past events will return for 2009 and we hope to have new teams entering as well.
"We have great support from the community and from a wide variety of sponsors. It's a great event for a whole cross-section of the community to take part in."
Logan Park would be transformed into a tent city during the relay, to be held on February 21 and 22, Ms Porter-Mills said.
Highlights of the opening ceremony included cancer survivors doing a lap of honour and there would be a candlelight vigil.
"It gives a chance for people to reflect and remember those who have died or been affected by cancer and can be very special and emotional," she said.
The Central Region (Otago) event will be held on March 7 and 8 at the Cromwell Racecourse.
Details are available online at: www.relayforlife.org.nz