by Alicia Wainwright
Relay For Life of Grand Island is set to take place this weekend at Grand Island High School. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8, and continue through the night until 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 9.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Grand Island Relay For Life. The theme of the 2012 Relay For Life is "A Million Steps of Hope" with Relay organizers aiming to hit the one million dollar mark this year, which will be quite the accomplishment.
So far, 36 teams are signed up with a total of 521 participants. More than $115,000 has already been raised for this year's Relay For Life. Team Angels of Hope is leading the way, raising a total of $24,290 thus far.
All of the money raised from the event will go towards the American Cancer Society. Teams camp out on the high school track and take turns walking around the track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times as cancer never sleeps.
Although the main objective of Relay is to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients, the event is also held to spread cancer awareness, celebrate the lives of survivors, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and unite the community in the fight against cancer.
In so many ways Relay for Life has become a celebration of the Island and its residents.
The gates open at 2:30 p.m. to set up tents. The opening ceremony is at 6:30 p.m. The survivor lap will be at 7 p.m. and the luminaria ceremony at 9:30 p.m. The closing ceremony will start at 5:30 a.m.
Doug Allen will sing the national anthem at the opening ceremony alongside the Grand Island High School Color Guard. Allen is well known for his singing of the national anthem at Buffalo Sabres home games.
Another notable guest at this year's Relay For Life is "Baby" Joe Mesi. Mesi is a former heavyweight boxer and Tonawanda native. He will be on site signing autographs to "Knock Out Cancer."
For more information on Relay For Life of Grand Island and a complete list of the entertainment schedule, visit http://www.relayforlife.org/grandislandNY.