Fight cancer one step at a time at the Relays for Life in Bayside and Middle Village this month

Cancer survivors at the 2015 Middle Village Relay for Life.
QNS/File photo

Cancer doesn’t stand a chance as long as everyone steps up to fight it.

That’s the attitude hundreds of volunteers will take with them when they participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life events in Bayside and Middle Village this month.

The Bayside Relay for Life takes place this Saturday, June 4, from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning inside Fort Totten Park, while the Middle Village Relay takes place the following weekend, beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, and continuing until 7 a.m. the following morning at Brennan Field in Juniper Valley Park.

Tens of thousands of dollars will be raised at both events for the American Cancer Society and its ongoing cancer research and treatment efforts. The Relay for Life program is one of the ACS’ most successful fundraising initiatives; relays held nationwide have raised millions of dollars for the organization over the last three decades.

At both relays in Bayside and Middle Village, teams of participants — including families, friends, companies and community groups — will walk or run laps through the night and into the following morning. Camps are set up near the track where team members can rest and enjoy food, games, music and entertainment. At least one member of each team must be on the track for the duration of the relay.

Each relay kicks off with an opening ceremony followed by the “Survivors’ Lap” with local cancer survivors — wearing purple T-shirts — who make a circuit on the track as a symbol of their resiliency and strength. Once the lap is completed, the other teams begin their overnight journey.

After nightfall, volunteers will also hold a ceremony to light up luminaria lining the course. Each luminaria is lit in honor of a cancer survivor or in memory of someone who lost their battle with cancer.

Even if you cannot participate in the Relays for Life, there are plenty of other ways to contribute through sponsorships available online. Volunteers are also needed to assist in setting up prior to the relay and cleaning up the grounds after it is over.

For more information on the Bayside relay, click here or contact Lindsey Coyle at lindsey.coyle[at]cancer.org. Those interested in the Middle Village relay can visit its website or email Carol Palacio at carol.palacio[at]cancer.org.