Organizers of the American Cancer Society's all-new Relay For Life of Greater Niagara will hold a kickoff event Saturday to announce this year's event. It will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 24 at the Niagara Power Vista's Community Room, 5777 Lewiston Road.
The Relay For Life of Greater Niagara is the combination of events formerly held in Lewiston and Niagara Falls. The 2015 Relay will open at noon Saturday, May 30, and continue until 6 a.m. Sunday, May 31, at Reservoir State Park in the Town of Niagara.
American Cancer Society staff partner Kristina Groff invites residents of northern Niagara County and the City of Niagara Falls who are interested in learning more or getting involved to attend the kickoff this weekend.
Kickoff attendees will receive a complimentary breakfast donated by Mrs. Thank You in Lewiston. They will learn more about the American Cancer Society and the Relay For Life movement, and they can register a team for this year's Relay For Life event.
The theme of this year's event is "May the Cure Be With You." The Relay will feature some "Star Wars"-inspired items.
The Relay will honor cancer survivors and caregivers and highlight the ACS' mission to save lives. Speakers will include 2015 Honorary Survivors Nate Brundage, a member of Lewiston No. 2 Fire Co. currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, and Russel Wijesiriwardena, a graduate of Niagara Falls High School currently battling Ewing's sarcoma. Both are teenage boys with moving stories.
"They will certainly be an inspiration to all of our cancer survivors, and we are so grateful to have an opportunity to recognize them," Groff said.
Relay For Life is a community event where teams and individuals camp out and participate in walks and runs around a track or path. Each team has at least one participant on the track at all times and participates in fundraising that supports the American Cancer Society's mission to save lives and finish the fight against cancer. Four million people participated in more than 6,000 events worldwide in 2014.
Local interest and support for this year's event is already shaping up. Fourteen teams and 31 participants have signed on and raised $3,296.
The Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all.