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

The 17th annual Middle Village Relay for Life will be held this weekend in support of cancer research, education and advocacy programs across the country.

Hosted in Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village, the overnight event on June 22 and 23 will feature an opening ceremony, a walk for survivors and caregivers, a luminaria lighting and a closing ceremony. Music, food and entertainment will be available as participants celebrate throughout the night and into the morning.

The money raised supports American Cancer Society programs dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health issue. The organization is community and volunteer based.

The opening ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, on the Juniper Valley Park running track off Lutheran Avenue, between Juniper Boulevard North and 71st Street. Directly after the ceremony, the Survivor’s Lap will begin. Teams of survivors and supporters will take turns walking around the track all night long.

Participants will celebrate the lives of those who have been affected by cancer until 10 p.m., when they’ll begin the candle-lighting ceremony. The candles, which will be placed in white bags and positioned around the track, will be lit to honor those who have survived or are still fighting cancer as well as those who were unfortunately lost to the disease. The candles will burn throughout the night.

The closing ceremony will take place at 7 a.m. the next morning, Sunday, June 23.

A final planning meeting will be held on Thursday, June 20, at the Ridgewood Moose Lodge at 72-15 Grand Ave., Maspeth, at 7 p.m. June 20 is also the last day to register.

Organizers say that volunteers are still needed. You can sign up by emailing Jacqueline Rosa at jacqueline.rosa@cacncer.org.

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