Rockland locals rallied together at the Thursday night with a shared focus: to raise awareness for cancer and money for cancer research. The kicked off last night with a buffet and informative presentation for individuals and groups of volunteers.
Relay for Life raises much needed funds for lifesaving cancer research and services for patients and their families.
"This is an opportunity for people to meet each other and learn more about our upcoming Relay for Life," said Jennifer Muir, Director of Special Events for the Hudson Valley Region's American Cancer Society. "An event like this brings the community together in the fight against cancer to celebrate survivors, remember loved ones lost and to fight back against a disease that impacts us all."
“We love it. It’s a wonderful event. My husband is a survivor,” said Florence Gorsky of Bardonia. Her husband was diagnosed with lymphoma leukemia in 2000. “My granddaughter and her mom bakes cookies for cancer and they have a fundraiser again in September. Last year they raised $1,000.”
One group of four came ready and excited for the upcoming event in June.
“I participate in it because of my wife,” said Pete DeLuca, whose wife Linda has leukemia. “You just have to stay positive.
“We have a lot of friends that went through breast cancer as well,” added Linda. “We hope, by doing this, that we help them come up with a cure.”
Her daughter Michelle Morrissey co-captains their group with friend Kelly Lozada.
“Relay for Life, it means hope. It’s everyone’s chance to believe that everyone can gain more time with their family and find a cure for the community,” said Morrissey of Congers.
Also coming up is Bark for Life in which dog owners walk their canine companion to raise cancer awareness.
“Bark for Life recognizes dogs and how they play such a big role as a caregiver to cancer patients,” said Muir.
Last year, over 350 dogs and their owners—approximately 800 people—came from all over Hudson Valley as well as New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
“We’re looking forward to May 6 to celebrate the 20th birthday of Bark for Life,” said Howard Ripps, Bark four Life co-chair whose father had colon cancer. “We’re hoping that every dog owner in Rockland can come participate.”
Also walking around giving out hugs and laughs was the Rockland Boulders Bird.
“We’re working very closely with Relay for Life because we think it’s a great cause and want to get word out to our fans and help strenthen the organization,” said Brian Frankel, a representative from the Rockland Boulders who was at the event.
The 2012 Relay for Life of Rockland County will be on June 9-10 at Rockland Community College. At relay for life, people and teams of people walk the track and there are family-friendly activities and entertainment throughout the night.
Anyone interested in forming a team, registering as a cancer survivor for the Survivor Lap, or volunteering on the planning committee can visit online at www.relayforlife.org/rocklandny or contact Muir directly at 845-440-2521 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how they can get involved.