UPDATE: Tuesday, August 8th

Organizers of an effort to bring the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" back to Missoula say they've decided to postpone the event until next year, giving more time to promote and plan the event.

The staff at Express Employment Professionals had taken on the challenge of organizing a relay for August 19th (see below).

But in an accountment Wednesday morning, the group told us they've decided to postpone the relay until next year.

"After much deliberation and consideration, we have decided to postpone the Missoula Strong 5k event until 2024," Event Co-Chair Allie Olson explained. "We feel this decision is in the best interest of the community, participants, and patients it represents."

"We are incredibly appreciative of the hard work and collaboration with the American Cancer Society and their efforts to assist us in making this event the best it could have possibly been."


"We, as a team, will return in 2024 to show cancer that we will rise to the occasion, to the cause, and to help find a cure. See you in 2024.It is our hope that we use this as an experience to further garner community support and involvement for upcoming events in the future." -Relay Co-Chair Allie Olson

Original story: Monday, August 7

One of the more popular events to raise funds, and awareness, of the fight against cancer is making its return to Missoula later this month.

For the first time in several years, volunteers, family, friends and those battling cancer will have a chance to participate in an American Center Society "Relay for Life." The events all across the country have become an institution to raise funds for cancer research, but also to show love and support for patients fighting cancer now, or loved ones who've been lost to the disease over the years.

The Missoula relay, on August 19th, will be a smaller "re-boot" known as the "Missoula Strong 5k" at Fort Missoula Regional Park.

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"I reached out to the American Cancer Society and they told me this is how you want to get your feet wet," explains relay organizer Allie Olson, owner of Express Employment Professionals. "So we decided to do a just a preliminary, just a 5K walk to get people out and about and thinking about cancer research and how we can help the community."

Traditionally, an ACS Relay for Life was a larger event, starting on a Friday evening and running all night long, not finishing until the following day. Sometimes they last a full 24 hours. But the thought here was to just start smaller with the reboot.

"We are starting with just a 5K simple walk in the morning," said Kate Ingraham, who's also helping to organize the relay. "We're going to have some food trucks, coffee, breakfast burritos, cupcakes. We'll have a couple of incredible speakers, and then everybody gets together to do a walk and honor those they have either loved or are currently working through cancer."

The idea is to take action

"I have family members and friends who have gone through cancer and are currently working through cancer right now," Olson related, pointing out that the relay is about not only raising funds, but promoting healing and community awareness through support.

"Just how many people suffer with this and not just those with cancer, but caregivers, family members, all parts, all parts of the of the facets of of the family and the system. They're all affected by this."

The Missoula Strong 5K, is an ACS-sanctioned event, and will take place at Fort Missoula Regional Park between 9 and noon on the 19th. Registration to participate in the relay will close at the end of this week, August 11th. Signups are at the "runsignup" website. If you have additional questions or would like to volunteer, you can contact Allie or Kate at Express Employment Professionals.

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