Franklin County Relay For Life to hold kickoff event Saturday

  • The 2016 Relay For Life of Franklin County was held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds from Friday, June 10 to Saturday, June 11.

  • The 2016 Relay For Life of Franklin County was held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds from Friday, June 10 to Saturday, June 11.

  • The 2016 Relay For Life of Franklin County was held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds from Friday, June 10 to Saturday, June 11. The event got underway with the Survivors’ Lap.

  • The 2016 Relay For Life of Franklin County was held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds from Friday, June 10 to Saturday, June 11.

Recorder Staff
Published: 1/19/2017 11:16:11 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It’s that time of year again. In preparation for 2017’s Relay For Life on June 9 and 10, Relay For Life of Franklin County is holding a free community kickoff event Saturday at 10 a.m.

The event celebrates and honors local cancer survivors, patients and caregivers, and showcases how the money raised during Relay For Life benefit the local community. It will be held at the Yankee Candle annex next to the flagship store at 25 Greenfield Road.

“This is our community’s opportunity to help save lives from cancer by taking action to move us closer to a world free from the pain and suffering of cancer,” Liz Landry, co-chair of Relay For Life of Franklin County’s planning committee, is quoted as saying in an American Cancer Society press release.

Relay For Life is an international event in which participants take turns walking around a track to show support for those who have been affected by cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society’s life-saving cancer research and programs.

Some programs that the American Cancer Society is able to fund using money earned during Relay include a 24-hour hotline that answers questions about cancer; Hope Lodges, which offer cancer patients a free place to stay during treatment; Look Good, Feel Better, a program that offers beauty tips to cancer patients in hopes of lifting their self-esteem; Road to Recovery, which offers rides for cancer patients to and from treatment; and Reach to Recovery, which pairs a recently diagnosed cancer patient with a survivor who serves as a mentor.

The Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight cancer, with four million participants in 6,000 events worldwide in 2015. In 2016, 723 people participated in Relay For Life of Franklin County, raising more than $217,000.

During the kickoff event, attendees will hear from several guest speakers including Melissa Cushman, a cancer advocacy specialist with the American Cancer Society, and members of Relay For Life of Franklin County’s volunteer planning committee. Attendees will learn about American Cancer Society programs through a “Relay Rugby” trivia quiz, and can also register a team for this year’s Relay, which will be held once again at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

“Kickoff is literally that, so we’ll get a lot more teams that are just getting started,” American Cancer Society Staff Partner Andrew Paterno said. “This is really the focal point when experienced teams come back and get the energy and excitement going, and we get new people coming in.”

Paterno said 100 participants divided into 20 teams have already signed up, raising more than $13,000.

“Anything over $10,000 this early is incredible,” he said. “We’re nearly twice as far as we were at this time last year.”

Paterno believes part of the event’s early fundraising success can be attributed to Relay For Life of Franklin County holding its first-ever fall rally in September to “gain momentum before June” and to get new teams and participants involved.

Hillside Pizza, Chandler’s Restaurant, the Sunderland Corner Store, Adams Donuts and Dunkin’ Donuts of Sunderland will provide free refreshments during the kickoff event.


http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=80826


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