American Cancer Society hosts annual walk at Juniper Valley Park

American Cancer Society
Photo courtesy of American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life of Middle Village is looking for volunteers to participate in its annual event on Saturday, June 25, to support cancer services and remember lost loved ones. 

Last year, ACS raised $76,000 through the Relay For Life event which went toward education, advocacy, research and services for cancer patients and their families. 

Nationally ACS was able to invest more than $400 million in multiyear cancer research grants at nearly 200 institutions last year. On top of that, they answered 500,000 calls and online chats for cancer support. 

This is the 19th annual event at Juniper Valley Park. This year’s theme is “Hope Comes in All Colors,” so participants are encouraged to come dressed in any color of their choice. Volunteers are encouraged to decorate their booths and help spread information about cancer or host relay games.

According to Leslie Orlovsky, a lifelong Middle Village resident and senior development manager at ACS, the event at Juniper Valley Park typically hosts 75 teams and approximately 1,500 participants.

American Cancer Society
Photo courtesy of American Cancer Society

“By joining the Relay For Life movement as a Relay team or participant, you help us save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer starting right here in your community,” Orlovsky said.

The event starts at noon with volunteers setting up booths with games and information. Later, there is a ceremony to honor those affected by cancer. Then, the survivor and caregiver walk commences and finishes with a remembrance ceremony. 

Cancer survivors and those who raise a minimum of $100 get a Hope Club T-shirt. ACS encourages everyone to get involved either by making a donation, hosting a fundraiser or volunteering for the event coming up in June at the Juniper Valley Park Multipurpose Play Area.

This year, due to COVID and the construction at the Brennan Field running track, ACS expects only about 500 participants. 

“The American Cancer Society Relay For Life Middle Village represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that cancer will be eliminated one day,” Orlovsky said. “This event gives us the opportunity to honor and remember those in our local community that have been affected by cancer and gives us a chance to fight back against a disease that has taken too much for many of us.”