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Community News

December 8, 2010

Relay For Life planning under way

The 2011 Cooperstown/Northern Otsego County Relay For Life will be May 20 and 21 at the Cooperstown Dreams Park. According to a media release, the event has raised more than $1 million to benefit the American Cancer Society during its 13 years. This year's goal is $85,000 and the theme is "Colors of Hope," symbolizing the different colored ribbons associated with the various types of cancer.

Relay For Life is an overnight celebration of hope and survivorship held in more than 5,200 communities across the United States. Pre-formed teams camp out and team members take turns walking a track throughout the night in honor of those who have fought cancer and in memory of those who have died. Teams do most of their fundraising before the event, but some hold fundraisers at the campsite.

Teams are now forming. Past team captains and those interested in forming a team for this year's event are invited to attend the monthly Team Captains meetings.

The next committee meeting is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Cooperstown Elementary School Music Room, with a team captain meeting to follow from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the Opening Ceremony starting at 6 p.m. Friday, May 20. A Survivor's Lap officially begins the Relay, whereby survivors walk the first ceremonial lap of the event, followed by a Caregiver's Lap. Anyone in the surrounding area who is a survivor and would like to take part in this lap is may register by calling Michelle Adsit at 547-9253. A dinner will follow for the survivor and one caregiver or guest.

A "Fight Back" ceremony is planned for 8 p.m. Participants and the public are encouraged to "fight back" by pledging to take a challenge themselves or to convince someone else to do such things as stop smoking, get an annual exam or the like. At 8:30 p.m. will be the luminaria ceremony. Each team will decorate its own luminaria and its campsite with the colored ribbon of cancer it chooses to coincide with this year's theme. The luminaria will stay lit all night. Activities and entertainment will take place the until the closing ceremony at 7:30 a.m. the following day, to which the public is invited.

For more information on the Cooperstown/Northern Otsego County Relay For Life, call chairwoman Carla Eckler at (315) 858-1451; co-chairwoman Pegg Bush at 433-0453; or Helen Gregory from the American Cancer Society at 563-9634; or visit the website at CooperstownNY.

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