By Jeff Cole
This year’s Relay For Life fundraiser is just around the corner.
The event will be held from noon to midnight June 2 at Ellicottville Central School, 5873 Route 219, and will feature a “Passport for Cure” theme in which teams that camp out will decorate their campsites according to their given countries. Emily Salim, co-chair of the relay, said that the registration fee is $10 per team participant.
“If you just want to come the day of the event and not join a team, it’s completely free,” she said. “The $10 (fee) is like if you want to start a team and have a campsite and do fundraising the day of the event. If you just want to come for like an hour the day of the event and not join a team, there is no fee.”
The opening ceremony will begin at noon sharp followed by a “survivors lap” at 12:15 p.m., when cancer survivors will be cheered on while walking along the school’s quarter-mile-long track. The survivors’ caregivers will join them for the next lap and the teams and other participants will then follow suit. All participants will be able to walk along the track until cleanup time at about 11:30 p.m.
Other activities will also take place during the event, according to Crystal Page, director of special events for the American Cancer Society, including a chicken barbecue, live music, other fundraisers and gift basket raffles. Page said that a luminaria ceremony, in which candles are placed inside personalized white bags and lit and participants often walk a lap in silence, will be held at 9:15 p.m. The ceremony is held to honor and reflect on past and present cancer patients and survivors. The closing ceremony is scheduled for 11 p.m.
Salim said each luminaria bag will cost $5 and noted that proceeds from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society’s programs and cancer research. Last year, according to Salim, about $48,000 was raised and she hopes this year’s relay will raise $51,000.
For more information on Relay for Life or to register for this event, visit www.relayforlife.org/cattarauguscountyny.