The final planning and coordinating is nearly complete for the annual Relay for Life charity walk held in the Cambridgeshire village of St. Ives.

And organizers are calling on the American military community to help raise money for cancer research by participating in the event the first weekend of August.

The Relay for Life is a fund-raising event for the nonprofit Cancer Research U.K. in which teams take turns walking or running for 24 hours straight. The event began in the United States, and the Cambridgeshire version is organized by an RAF Molesworth airman and his wife.

Tech. Sgt. Chris Kaelin and his wife, Patricia, helped put on the first Relay for Life in St. Ives, which raised nearly $17,000 in 2005. Last year, the philanthropic day of fitness generated nearly $35,000.

This year, the group hopes to top $50,000.

Kaelin already has enlisted 10 teams of 150 members from RAFs Molesworth, Alconbury and Upwood. An additional 25 military personnel are involved in planning and hosting the daylong event, he said.

The mayor of St. Ives will be opening the event at 3 p.m. on Aug. 4. There also will be family friendly attractions and entertainment plus food throughout the day.

“We encourage all cancer survivors to join in the Lap of Honor which will lead all the participants around the track for the first lap, followed by a reception after the first lap,” Kaelin wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

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The Relay for Life will begin at 3 p.m. Aug. 4 at the St. Ives Outdoor Leisure Centre in Cambridgeshire to raise money for cancer research. To participate, go to

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