It’s been hailed as one of the best fundraising events in East Boston that shows the neighborhood and its residents at their best.
On Friday, June 13 at 6 p.m. the American Cancer Society’s 6th Annual Relay for Life will kickoff at East Boston Memorial Stadium. The overnight event will feature teams from Eastie and Winthrop that will spend the night walking the track at the Stadium to raise money for cancer.
Like years past, the event will also honor cancer survivors and remember those who lost their battle to the disease.
This year will mark the 6th Annual Eastie Relay For Life and since its start in 2008 the event has raised over a $200,00 towards finding a cure for cancer.
So far 22 teams and 228 participants have raised over $16,000 for cancer research.
“Across the country, Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening,” said this year’s co-chair Tiffany LaCascia. “Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites during Relay. Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups – people from all walks of life – all committed to furthering the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.”
Funds raised over the years at Eastie’s Relay For Life are enabling the American Cancer Society to impact the lives of those touched by cancer within the community by supporting vital, cutting-edge cancer research. Funds raised each year in Eastie provide cancer patients with services such as transportation to treatment, free lodging at Boston’s Hope Lodge, and round the clock support at the national cancer information center. Money is also used to publish lifesaving literature on cancer prevention, detection and tobacco control and developing a new generation of medicines that help those battling cancer.
The event, held from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with participants camping out in tents around the track, gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate the survivors in their lives, remember those they have lost to cancer, and do their part in fighting back against the disease.
The survivors kickoff the first lap and are invited to a special survivor reception immediately following.
Then there is the extremely moving “Luminaria Ceremony” at 9 p.m. where candlelit bags that have been decorated in memory of someone who lost their battle to cancer are placed around the track as all participants take a silent lap.
“At the very least, we would love all residents to take part in the Luminaria ceremony, “ said LaCascia. “It is what Relay is all about.”
The night is also a celebration. There will be face painting, dance performances, entertainment, theme laps and much more. There will be fun activities for people of all ages.
“It is never too early or too late to get involved with Relay,” said LaCascia. “To learn more about the event, or to sign up as a participant, please go to www.eastbostonrelay,org.