Relay for Life on track against cancer
This spring marks the fifth anniversary for Relay for Life, and there's no better way to kick off the fundraising spirit than with a benefit dinner to raise awareness for the cause. Relay for Life is a one-night American Cancer Society event for local communities to join together in the fight against cancer. After seeking sponsors who pledge funds, teams gather and set up tents and sleeping bags with the goal of keeping one person walking around the regional high school outdoor track at all times. This year the Martha's Vineyard chapter will hold the event on June 13 and 14.
A benefit dinner being held on Thursday, March 27, aims to provide more information about the June event as well as to raise funds. David Klein heads the entertainment committee for the Island chapter hosting the pasta benefit dinner. Mr. Klein, himself a cancer survivor, became involved in Relay for Life last year sponsoring the team "Pals for Progress," and was moved by how the community was brought together.
"Any program that raises money for a great cause to help fight the disease and find a cure is a wonderful one," says Mr. Klein. He believes in raising awareness, giving back to others, and the importance of funding research that eventually translates to lives saved.
The benefit dinner in March is a good opportunity for members of the community to participate in aiding a good cause, regardless of prior knowledge about Relay for Life. Those who are unfamiliar with the Relay can simply learn more or sign up to join or support a team. Future participants can pick up helpful items provided at the dinner, such as luminaria bags for decoration. Candles in the bags will be lit at dusk on June 13, and burn throughout the night in remembrance of those whose lives were lost to cancer. In addition to dinner, there will be a raffle of gift certificates and other prizes, all donated from local sources. All money raised will go to the Cancer Society.
Last year's turnout was the largest yet for the spring event, raising $104,000. Mr. Klein is hoping this year's fundraiser will top that. The goal is to raise $125,000 by June 14. Bake sales and other forms of fundraising have been in progress throughout the year, but the pasta dinner is likely to be the last major benefit until the Relay in June.
The battle to cure cancer is a universal one that ties people and communities together. Mr. Klein says there is no better way to support a cause than to take one night out of the year to remember everyone who has been affected.
There is an opportunity to participate in the June Relay for Life, as more teams and walkers are needed. For more information, contact David Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 508-326-2451.
Samantha McCoy is a sophomore at Cornell University.