Christmas may be months away, but the hope that the season brings should be present any time of the year.

This year, with “Christmas for a Cure” as its theme, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life participants have high hopes for the annual event which gets under way at 6 p.m. Friday at Gordon Wood Stadium.

As of Tuesday, early fund-raising had reached $32,000.

“We’re doing great,” said Bill Owen, who this year is co-chairing the Brown County Relay for Life event with Margaret Carter. “The money our captains turned in tonight puts us about half way to our goal, and we know there’s a lot of money that’s still out there. We’ve got several fund-raisers that haven’t happened yet.”

This year’s “honorary survivors” Dick Williams and Montana Early will be flown to the field by helicopter at 6 p.m. Friday and following a few introductions, and the national anthem, led by the Early High School choir, the survivor’s lap will begin. At 7 p.m. a free hot grilled hamburger supper will be served, and the track walking shall begin.

Part of this year’s fund-raisers include a silent auction. But, of special interest, said Carter, will be the opportunity for people to get a spray-on tan; or a massage, or a chance to “detoxify.”

“One of those ‘de-tox’ things where you get to soak your feet. That’s so cool,” Carter said.

A percentage of the money taken in by those activities goes to the ACA.

The luminary ceremony, during which the stadium’s lights are dimmed and candles are lighted in honor or memory of cancer patients, will begin at 10 p.m. Dallas Huston will read the names of those honored and/or memorialized by the luminaries.

But as those who have been involved for a number of years know, Relay For Life is an all night long 12-hour event. And activities will keep on happening until dawn.

Relay for Life is a major fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society’s local chapter and helps support cancer research and educational programs.

Other “fun things” scheduled for the night include a “puffy race”, a Mr. Relay Pageant, a limbo lap, alligator wrestling, a frozen T-shirt event, a poker lap, “bust your bubble” and a mummy wrap.

From 8 p.m. until 4 a.m., ongoing events will include a badminton tournament, face painting, line dancing, cake and cookie walk and cancer facts scavenger hunt.