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Casey Christie / The Californian

Thousands turn out for the annual Relay for Life in May 2013 including this group (Team Small Miracles). They show their enthusiasm as they pass by the main stage area at the corner of Merle Haggard and Airport drives.

A reception will be held Thursday for cancer survivors, volunteers and others to help get ready for Bakersfield Relay for Life in May.

Last year's Relay -- the major American Cancer Society fundraiser -- registered almost 1,800 cancer survivors for the traditional survivor lap that begins every Relay event.

Survivor chair Bryan Reyes hopes 2,000 survivors to be on the track May 3.

The free Survivor Reception will be 4-6 p.m. Thursday at St. Philip the Apostle Church, 7100 Stockdale Highway, at which time survivors can register and enjoy refreshments. Survivors who have already registered online can pick up their special purple survivor T-shirt.

Relay also needs about 900 volunteers. They and survivors can register at or call the Bakersfield American Cancer Society office at 327-7827.

Do you know a "Rosie the Riveter?"

The Kern County Veterans Service Department and the Veterans of Kern County Inc. are searching for women who, during World War II, worked in airplane factories, munitions manufacturing plants or other traditionally male-dominated jobs while millions of American men were away at war.

The women who performed these jobs were instrumental in supporting the nation's war effort during a critical time in U.S. history. But many did not receive the thanks and respect they deserved after the war ended.

The veterans organizations want to honor these American women at the 2014 "Rosie the Riveter" Reunion tentatively scheduled in September.

Anyone with knowledge of "Rosies" living in Kern County is asked to email contact information to: or call volunteer coordinator Michele Steiber at 868-7321.