Returning survivors, from left, Patricia Napier, Mary Van Blake, Coral Poole-Clark and Marjorie Driscoll enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, doughnuts, fruit, yogurt and breakfast burritos under the Survivor Tent. Van Blake is the only Tehachapi resident. The other three ladies travel from Bakersfield to attend our local Relay each year.

Darla A. Baker / Tehachapi News

Time has not run out for Tehachapi's 2017 Relay for Life to reach its fundraising goal.

According to Virginia Staabs, event chair, two-thirds of this year's goal of $90,000 was reached as of July 8 when the event was held at Meadowbrook Park.

"We still have until the end of August, and there is still a possibility we will make it," Staabs said.

The nearly 30 participating teams have raised a total of $60,500 to date, she said.

Relay for Life is held each each year around the world in 5,200 communities and 27 countries as a signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Proceeds help fund groundbreaking research as well as provide patient care programs, education and prevention information.

Although the spirit of Relay continues to thrive, the recent heat wave took a toll on participation in this year's event.

Said Staabs, "Because of the heat, the traffic was slower is the middle of the day. This was the hottest Relay in the five years I have participated."

This year's event featured several changes, such as venue and hours of participation. As for any future changes, Staabs said it was too early to tell.

"Sometime in October they will start planning for next year and that's when those decisions will be made," she said.

As for how the new venue was received by participants, Staabs said there were some things she liked, and other things that could be improved.

"We will see what they want to do next year," she said.

One change is certain, however, as Staabs will not serve as event lead.

"I am moving out of the area, so I will be handing over the reins to somebody else, but I don't know who yet," she said.

For more information, visit A closed Facebook group has also been recently formed, Survivors Strong Tehachapi, for survivors to connect and support one another.