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The American Cancer Society has enjoyed consistent support from Lancaster County for 13 years, as local residents have managed to raise more than $1 million for research during the annual Relay for Life.
Despite hard economic times, volunteers are confident giving will stay plentiful in this year’s Relay for Life.
The fundraising goal is $190,000, spread across 48 teams, said Relay chairwoman Donna Parsons. Last year, the goal was $180,000, and it was easily exceeded, Parsons said. The Relay is the county’s largest fundraising event of the year for the American Cancer Society, Parsons said.
“The teams are so enthused and committed to the American Cancer Society, and we’re always just sure we’ll meet the goals,” she said.
This year’s Relay for Life will culminate April 25 at Lancaster High School Memorial Stadium, with a walk starting at 6 p.m. Months of fundraising end with the walk.
The event includes a traditional luminaria ceremony, in which candles bought for $10 in honor of those who have survived cancer or lost their lives to it are lit in the stadium. In the darkness, a transcendental glow is created as bag pipes are heard.
“It is a very solemn moment,” Parsons said.
Cancer survivors are asked to register after arriving. They’ll get a T-shirt and a survivor’s pin. Survivors will walk the first lap at 7 p.m. For the second lap, the survivors will be joined by family and friends.
Teams will sell food, socialize and enjoy games. Teams will stay at the stadium until the closing ceremony at 6 a.m. the next day.
“It is a wonderful, family-oriented event,” Parsons said, adding no alcohol, smoking and pets are allowed.
New this year will be a shuttle service from the parking lots at Lancaster High School to the stadium. That will cut down on congested parking experienced in the past near the stadium, Parsons said.
The money raised at the Relay is used by the American Cancer Society principally for research. Parsons said fundraisers through the years have contributed to the advancing technology of chemotherapy and the discovery of a popular, effective cancer drug.
“We hope more of the research will finally lead to a cure,” Parsons said.
Church hopes to raise $20,000 for Relay
Douglas Presbyterian Church’s Relay for Life team held the last of its two annual fundraiser meals March 30. It attracted at least 100 diners, some of whom donated a little extra than the $7 cost of the ticket. The diners enjoyed a lunch of ham, side items and desserts.
Consistently one of the top Relay fundraisers, Douglas Presbyterian’s team co-chairwoman, Lori Short, said many in the congregation have been affected by cancer.
“We’ve had a lot of people close to cancer who have really gotten involved through the years,” Short said.
Short said the team works hard in executing events and raising money. The team’s goal this year is $20,000, up $1,000 from last year.
Contact reporter Johnathan Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-8416