The sixth annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Patchogue-Medford took place as an overnight event at Patchogue-Medford High School from Saturday June 2 through Sunday June 3.
The fundraiser for the society raised over $49,000 according to the event's website.
The evening began with a Survivor's Reception at 6 p.m. on the field of the high school. All cancer survivors and their caregivers were invited to attend a buffet dinner, donated by Porter's on the Lane of Bellport followed by dessert, donated by 7-11.
The opening ceremonies began at 7 p.m. and included the traditional Survivor's Lap followed by a lap for all family members and caregivers before being opened to all participants. The Luminaria Ceremony, a highlight of the Relay, took place later in the evening and consists of meaningful bags decorated in memory and honor of people with cancer. After dark, battery-operated candles are placed inside the bags and lit.
“Cancer shows no preference. The lights tonight symbolize the memory of our loved ones that shine bright within us every day. The light represents the love that we share that burns for others to see,” said a survivor.
During this ceremony, a silent walk led by the Suffolk County Police pipe band also occurred.
There were many other events and activities held throughout the evening for the participants this year such as Zumba, Wii, “Pie the Nerd” and listening to live bands.
This year’s Relay for Life was celebrated by over 400 participants forming a total of fifty-six relay teams from the community. The participants raised over $49,700.
“We have an excellent turnout this year. We’ve had twice as many survivors attend our Survivor’s Reception. It’s fantastic to see the community come together every year and support each other,” said Beth Corpac, co-chairperson of the Relay of Life.
To find out more information on how you can get involved in next year's Relay For Life go to relayforlife.org/patchoguemedfordny, or for cancer information 24 hours a day, seven days a week go to cancer.org or 1 800-ACS-2345.