June 2005





Cancer Survivors, Caregivers and Friends Join
National  ‘Relay for Life’ Movement
Candlelight Vigil Honors Local Residents Lost to Disease


Grand Island, New York—June 1, 2005–In towns across Western New York, neighbors will come together for a single cause – to fight cancer and honor survivors. Grand Island residents will join 4,200 other communities across America in a celebration of survivorship and hope at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. The overnight event is a movement that has swept the nation since its inception in 1985. Relay For Life is the largest grassroots fundraiser in the world and is designed to give everyone an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer.

Survivors of all ages will walk around the Grand Island High School track in a victory lap and friends will honor loved ones lost to the disease in an evening candlelight vigil. Caregivers will also be honored with a special ceremony and lap in their honor. The overnight event joins teams of 10 to 15 people who camp out at community sites and take turns circling a track or path to raise awareness and funds to support cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services in the community. This year, the event will be held at Grand Island High School Track and will run from 6:00 p.m.  on  Friday,  June 10th until  8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2005.

            Relay For Life opens as cancer survivors walk, run, or otherwise move around the track for the first lap. This is an emotional time and sets the stage for the importance of each participant's contribution. A festive atmosphere always develops around the track area as participants make new friends and spend time with old ones. Highlighting the evening is the luminaria service held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember loved ones lost to cancer. The luminaria candles line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

            For those who participate in Relay For Life, the event represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that the disease will be one day be eliminated. Since the first Relay For Life was held in 1985 in Tacoma, Wash., the event has raised over $1 billion. In 2004, Relay For Life raised more than $300 million.   

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. The American Cancer Society Eastern Division has 46 community-based offices, involving thousands of volunteers throughout New York and New Jersey. For 24-hour cancer information, call toll-free

1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.