A worldwide movement to end cancer.
For eight years, Relay for Life Baldwinsville has joined the effort. The event returns at 6 p.m. this Friday, June 17, and runs through 6 a.m. Saturday morning at the Durgee Junior High School bus circle.
"The event will kick off with a special survivor lap and ceremony, so all survivors from the community are invited to attend," said Lauren Witter, an event organizer.
The survivor lap is free and open to anyone, but participants must arrive by 5:30 p.m. to register for survivor activities. After opening ceremonies, a team member from each of the 46 participating teams (more than 750 individuals) will walk the track at all times. When not walking, other team members will offer fun games and sales as fundraisers such as bake sales, raffles and unique crafts. The event will also include entertainment with a variety of bands, a dance performance and a karate demonstration, which are all part of an effort to keep people energized and engaged. At nightfall, a moving luminaria ceremony will provide a candlelight vigil to remember loved ones. Food will be available, courtesy of Price Chopper.
While the event is sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the event is organized by a very dedicated group of community volunteers.
"The volunteers are able to plan the event while infusing it with local flair to make each event individual and unique to its home community," Witter said. "Volunteers bring Relay to their home community as a way to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer and fight back against this disease."
The overnight celebrations of hope and cancer survivorship take place in more than 5,000 communities worldwide and honor survivors while remembering loved ones lost to cancer.
"As a long time Baldwinsville resident, I know what a caring and close knit community we are. People come together to help their neighbors, which is exactly what Relay is," Witter said. "Cancer doesn't just touch the survivor - it affects families, friends, neighbors, coworkers and loved ones. Relay gives everyone the chance to come together and show their support for those facing the cancer journey. It also raises money for the American Cancer Society to help people right here in our community."
While registration for teams is now closed, everyone is invited to check out the event, which is free and open to the public, and to participate in the luminaria ceremony to remember loved ones.
"People come to Relay as strangers and leave as best friends, so I would say even if you don't know anyone, stop by to enjoy the music, the celebration and the camaraderie that is Relay," Witter said.