Still Seeking Vols For Cancer-Fighting Event
Volunteers still have time to sign up and participate in this month’s Relay for Life at Middle Village’s Juniper Valley Park, the annual overnight fund-raiser benefiting the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The 12th annual event begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, June 21, and continues until the following morning on the running track at Brennan Field, located adjacent to the intersection of Lutheran Avenue and 71st Street.
Teams of co-workers, relatives, friends, neighbors, churchgoers and others camp out around the track and walk or run laps all night long raising funds for the ACS’s ongoing cancer research and treatment efforts. The program includes a variety of entertainment and activities celebrating the lives of cancer survivors.
Middle Village hosted its first Relay for Life in 2003 and has grown every year since in both participation and generosity, according to Alex Maureau, cochair of this year’s relay. Nineteen teams and 12 cancer survivors raised over $52,000 in the 2003 relay; last year’s event featured 60 teams and 138 cancer survivors and generated more than $190,000.
As the Times Newsweekly went to press on Wednesday, June 4, the relay’s website indicated 75 teams with 509 participants have already enrolled-and more than $90,000 has been pledged. Relay organizers hope to surpass last year’s total in funds raised for the ACS.
Following an opening ceremony at 4 p.m. on June 21, those who have battled or are continuing to fight cancer will lead the procession of relay teams with the annual “Survivors’ Lap.” Once the survivors complete their circuit, the other teams will be introduced and take their first laps around the track.
All throughout the relay, participants will enjoy a variety of fun activities as well as music, food and entertainment.
The festivities will pause at 10 p.m. on June 21 for the Luminaria Ceremony, as volunteers candles inside bags lining the entire running track. For a $10 donation, individuals can purchase a luminaria bag to be lit in honor of someone currently battling cancer or in memory of someone that lost their battle with the disease.
The luminaria will glow throughout the night, lighting the way for teams as they continue their overnight journey.
The program concludes at 7:30 a.m. on June 22 with a closing ceremony, during which participants pledge to remain committed to doing their part in the fight against cancer all year long.
Those who cannot participate in the relay can still assist with set up and clean up duties, according to Maureau. Organizers are seeking individuals to begin setting up duties at 11 a.m. on June 21 and in cleaning up Brennan Field following the closing ceremony.
Key sponsors of this year’s Middle Village Relay for Life include the Kiwanis Club of Glendale and Maspeth Federal Savings Bank.
For more information on the Middle Village Relay for Life or to donate, visit www.relayforlife.org/MiddleVillag eNY.