NORWICH – The Chenango County Relay for Life begins tonight at the fairgrounds, and while the event will provide an array of fun games, activities and entertainment, it will also raise money for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.
More than 50 teams and probably up to 1,200 people will be walking around the track at the fairgrounds to raise money for cancer research and programs. Last year over $133,000 was raised over the course of the weekend, and according to Denise Woods, Relay for Life event coordinator, the American Cancer Society dedicates those funds to cancer research, patient and family programs, advocacy and health education.
This year, Woods said, the goal will be to raise $140,000 at the Chenango County Relay. It’s already raised about $80,000. “We’re more than halfway there already,” Woods said. “We’re doing well and energy is up. We have some fun and exciting events planned.”
Opening ceremonies for the Relay for Life will kick off at 6 tonight. The first walkers will hit the track at approximately 6:15. As a tradition, the first lap is reserved for those who have survived and are surviving cancer. The survivors’ lap serves as a source of support for some who have received the diagnosis. They are able to see others who have gone through a similar experience, and Woods has explained in the past, it’s not unusual to see people walking 5, 10 or even 20 years after their diagnosis. “The Relay for Life is a huge support group for survivors, care givers and families. Everybody has something in common, and we’re coming together as a community to do something about this disease.”