NORTH SHORE RELAY FOR LIFE OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF 2014 FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
February 17, 2014 -- With signs stating "Stand Up for Yourself and Others" and heart-shaped balloons adorning the high school cafeteria, The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of North Shore officially kicked off its Fundraising Drive for 2014 with a rally this past Wednesday evening.
Community members, students, and teachers from the district attended Wednesday's event at which North Shore organizer Megan Stewart announced that North Shore High School seniors Noelle Piscano and Emily Doering would serve as this year's student co-chairs. North Shore she said,would be trying to raise at least $100,000.
Girl Scout Troop 56, made up of 5th graders from Sea Cliff School, manned a table at which rally goers could create Valentine's Day cards for people staying at one of the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodges, which provide cancer patients and their caregivers with a place to stay, free of charge, while seeking treatment far away from home.
Speakers at Wednesday's kick-off included those who have been motivated by the experiences of friends and loved ones to take action, and cancer survivors who related their own personal experiences, and the importance of the group's efforts.
Middle School Assistant Principal Rachel Greene told of how she found out only three days after being hired by the District that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and would need to immediately undergo chemotherapy. "Although she has participated in Relay for many years in many different capacities (team member, team captain), she explained, last year was her first year as a cancer survivor. Ms Greene emphasized the important role of the caregivers and spoke with pride about the supportive North Shore staff and community which she has seen come together once again for two other other staff members battling the disease. Ms. Greene said that she was excited that North Shore Middle school will be very much involved at this year's Relay - with both teachers and students taking an active part.
Relay for Life 2014 will culminate June 7th at the North Shore High School when participants will take turns walking throughout the night and into the next day High School track, ringed with luminarias in honor of friends and loved ones who have survived and in memory of those who have lost their battles with cancer.
Begun in 1985 when one man walked and ran around a track for 24 hours and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life is the world's largest grassroots fundraiser. Its goal is to mobilize communities throughout the country to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease.
This year, Relay For Life will take place in nearly 5,100 communities in the United States and 24 other countries, with funds raised going towards the ACS's research efforts to finding cures, and providing treatment and care to those battling cancer.
Celebrating its 100th year, the American Cancer Society is "the largest funder of cancer research outside of the U.S. Government," explained Kris Kim Executive Vice President of ACS's Eastern District. "Relay is the biggest part," she said, contributing 40% to ACS's fundraising total.
This is North Shore's 8th year organizing a Relay event. Last year, the district was the #1 fundraiser in Nassau County, raising over $200,000. This year North Shore will hit the $1 million mark in funds raised for cancer research.
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