2010-05-21 / Community

Cancer Society Relay For Life Set For Riis Park

The first lap of the relay is traditionally the Survivors Lap. This photo shows last year’s first lap. The first lap of the relay is traditionally the Survivors Lap. This photo shows last year’s first lap. The American Cancer Society will be hosting the 11th Annual Relay for Life of Riis Park, which will take place on June 12-13 at the Bay 9 Mall.

A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society calls the Relay for Life a unique celebration of life.

“It is a non-competitive overnight event where teams of eight to fifteen people take turns walking, running, skipping or dancing around a track, relay-style, in honor and in memory of those whose lives have been touched by cancer,” the spokesperson said.

She adds that a festive atmosphere prevails as team members camp out on the surrounding grounds for the duration of the event to enjoy music, food, fun, entertainment and activities while building camaraderie with fellow teammates and participants.

A team captain enlists close friends, co-workers, family members, etc. and forms a team.

Team members collect contributions prior to the event through a variety of creative fundraising ideas supplied by the American Cancer Society.

Relay for Life is the celebration party at the end of the long fundraising period and allows a bonding of survivors, caregivers and those who support them financially and emotionally.

Those who have beaten the disease see the relay as a seminal event each year.

A number of local civic organizations and businesses field teams at the Relay, among them The Wave and the two local hospitals.

The first lap at a Relay for Life is special.

It’s the Survivor/Caregiver Lap. Cancer survivors and caregivers from the community are invited to take part in this victory lap and be cheered on by fellow participants in true celebration of their courageous battle.

As darkness falls, there is a luminaria candle ceremony in tribute to those who have been affected by cancer. The event is memorable as hundreds of candles in honor of both survivors and those who lost their lives to Cancer burn brightly into the night.

These luminarias are purchased in honor of those who have survived their battle with cancer, for those that are still fighting, and in memory of those who have courageously battled this disease but lost.

Votive candles are placed in white bags filled with sand and are positioned around the track.

The candles are kept burning throughout the night, representing the healing power of community and the importance of providing funding in order to find to find a cure.

To register, participate or volunteer, log on to http://www.relayforlife.org/ riisparkNY or contact Taliah Duchatelier at 718-261-1092, ext. 5511 or email riis.park.relay@cancer.org

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