Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society's fundraising vehicle for cancer research and education, will come to several West Contra Costa County cities this summer.

Teams of volunteers walk or run for 24 hours around a track or pathway, in shifts, to raise donations from sponsors.

Relay for Life has been held in more than 20 countries and has raised more than $40 million since it started in 1985, according to Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, who is urging people to support the effort by joining a relay or sponsoring a participant or team.

"My mother died of breast cancer the year I was elected to the Board of Supervisors, so I have a personal connection to all of those touched by the disease," Gioia said in a news release.

Relay for Life events in West Contra Costa are as follows:

  • El Sobrante: 9 a.m. June 21, Murphy Elementary School, 4350 Valley View Road.

  • El Cerrito: 10 a.m. July 26, Cerrito Vista Park, 950 Pomona Ave.

  • Pinole: 9 a.m. Aug. 9, Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave.

    To sign up for Relay for Life, visit the organizations's web site at http://www.relayforlife.org/

    Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at Twitter.com/tomlochner.