One hundred years ago, 15 physicians and businessmen in New York City were determined to raise awareness about cancer came together.

From their determination, they formed the American Cancer Society for the Control of Cancer, now known as the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The ACS continues to fight against cancer through research and awareness programs. In fact, the society is the largest private funder of cancer research in the United States and has had a hand in nearly every major cancer research breakthrough in recent history.

Since 1986, when the first Relay For Life event happened, people across the United States and world have joined together to raise money for American Cancer Society's programs.

"The Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser. It's a life-changing experience. At relay, every person in the community has a chance to celebrate, remember and fight back. And every person who participates joins others around the globe as part of this worldwide movement to end cancer," states the American Cancer Society website.

Locally, Houston County began their own Relay For Life, 19 years ago right here in Spring Grove and it has been going strong ever since.

The 2013 Relay For Life will begin Friday, Aug. 2, at the Fest Building. Their kick-off event will be held at the Spring Grove Cinema on Saturday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m.

The public is invited to attend this kick-off event; if they have been a part of a team in the past or not, does not matter - all are invited to attend and learn more about this year's Relay For Life.

There will be door prizes, inspirational stories, games, trivia and the newest information on the 2013 Relay For Life event.

Following the event, there will be a free movie including popcorn. The Houston County Relay For Life committee hopes this kick-off event will unite everyone in Houston County that wants to fight back against cancer and also show them how they can do so with the Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society.

Teams are encouraged to sign up at HoustonCountyMN. Any team captain that registers their team before April 27 will receive a special gift at the kick-off event.

Also, every participant that has signed up to join a team prior to the kick-off event will be entered to win a grand prize, which will soon be announced. Team materials can also be picked up at the kick-off event.

To stay up-to-date with the latest news and announcements, "Like" the "Relay For Life of Houston County, MN" on Facebook.

For any questions regarding the kick-off event or the Relay For Life event, contact committee members Judy Bratland at (507) 498-5147 or Joycelyn Rostad, 498-5212.

"One hundred years ago, the American Cancer Society began the fight of a lifetime. Today, you can help us finish the fight."