By Alicia Dziak
On Saturday, June 9, Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, returns to the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds in Little Valley. Relay is no longer held in Springville like it once was, Little Valley is now the closest event of its kind.
What exactly is the Relay for Life? It’s a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Events are entirely volunteer-run.
As part of the Relay event, which is meant to be a “great family event” according to event co-chair Priscilla Snider, Ellicottville’s Rebecca Szpaicher will be offering a Barnwood painting session. At 3 p.m., for the Relay special price of only $20 per painter, people can paint a custom daisy on barnwood. Different colors can be chosen to represent the various cancers, and Szpaicher will guide participants through step by step.
Other activities are planned throughout the event, including Zumba and what many consider the most moving part of the Relay, the Luminary Ceremony. Luminaries are created to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those who have lost their lives.
Money raised from this event will assist people facing a cancer diagnosis and provide funds for cancer research.
Relay for Life begins at 11 a.m. with an Opening Ceremony featuring Honorary Survivors, one of whom is Jim Croft of Springville, who Snider met at Holiday Valley over the winter.
Snider emphasized that Relay is a public event, and that while some teams have already been busy fundraising, people can still show up and register the day of.
For more info, visit RelayForLife.org/theFairgroundsNY and visit the event’s Facebook page (Relay For Life of The Fairgrounds).