AUBURN, Mass. – Teams of residents will fight cancer during an 18-hour Relay for Life this weekend on the track at Auburn’s Lemansky Park.
The Central South County Relay for Life begins Friday, Sept. 7, at 6 p.m. and runs until noon on Saturday, Sept. 8. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society for research to develop better treatments and eventually find a cure.
“As time goes by, the number of people who survive becomes greater and greater, and part of the credit for that belongs to the Relay for Life,” said Cindy Gallant, tri-chairperson of the county Relay for Life. “I know that in my small way, I am dedicating my time to find better treatments and even a cure. What we all do that night will someday change the world.”
Each relay team has a member circling the track throughout the 18 hours. Teams receive donations in exchange for their promise to have someone walking the track for the entire event.
One of the teams represents the Auburn Police Association, which is participating in the relay for the seventh straight year. However, for the first time they are partnering with students from Auburn High School in order to broaden awareness, and fundraising money, for the organization.
Auburn High was added to the Auburn Police Association in the hopes that long-term benefits would continue after this year’s relay. Underclassmen involvement has been encouraged, so their experience this year will help them next year as the high school team stands on its own.
There is plenty going on throughout the event. The Survivors Lap comes during the opening ceremony, which is a relay highlight for Gallant.
“I look forward to seeing people of all ages that come to celebrate their victory or who come to draw support from other survivors while they endure their treatments,” she said. “Many are joined in the lap by their caregiver who stood at their side during this difficult time in their lives.”
Relay participants will line the track with luminaria ‒ bags containing burning candles. Each bag will be decorated to honor someone who had cancer.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 4, there were 389 relay participants on 42 teams. They have raised $55,469.
The Relay for Life invites the general public to stop by and watch, and people can still register for the event.
For more information or to get involved, visit www.Relayforlife.org/centralsouthcountyma.