Yesterday, hundreds came out to enjoy the first Relay for Life for Bergen Beach, Mill Basin and Marine Park. The event was deemed a huge success, as it raised $26,687 for the American Cancer Society. Started by Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, in 1986, Relay for Life has been spreading around the country ever since then.
The idea behind Relay for Life is to create an overnight relay-style event that doesn’t require a large time commitment on any one person. Teams come out together and take turns walking or running around the track. The Relay for Life yesterday took place at Aviator Sports Complex on Flatbush Avenue.
The family-friendly environment creates the perfect place for people to come and enjoy. Yesterday’s event included live music with performances by Donnie Klang and Tayla Cornelia. The Edward R. Murrow High School dance troupe was there with Roberta Raymond as well. In addition, there was face painting, caricature drawing, tennis demonstrations, video game setups by Best Buy and so much more.
Ms. New York America, Helen Troncoso, spoke during the Relay’s opening ceremonies. The event started with a Survivors’ Lap and then turned to the Luminaria Ceremony where the track was lined with Luminaria Bags created by neighborhood children and donors. The bags were illuminated by candles and everyone walked around the track to admire the bags, led by the nationally-recognized FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drum Band. The event concluded with a Fight Back Ceremony where people committed in their own way to fight against cancer.