HUNTINGTON – The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Hampshire County will hold its first rally on Jan. 9, 2015, at Stanton Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. The snow date is Jan. 23.
The purpose of the rally is to raise awareness about Relay and encourage new teams and volunteers from the Hilltowns to get involved with the Relay For Life of Hampshire County Event Leadership Team. The leadership is seeking volunteers to help run this year’s event, teams to participate and donations to the American Cancer Society.
“We will have volunteers on hand to share with visitors what Relay For Life is all about and to offer information on how people can form a team, become a volunteer or maybe join our event leadership team,” said Gail West of Huntington, who heads up the event team’s Bring the People Committee.
West said young people are encouraged to attend as are cancer survivors and caretakers. An informational program offered up at the event will repeat roughly every 30 minutes.
Relay For Life is a 24-hour event that allows participants to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease. This year’s Relay will be held June 19-20 at Look Memorial Park in Florence. During relay, teams of participants take turns walking on a temporary track to raise money for cancer research and programs that benefit cancer patients and their families.
In past years, the relay was organized by a committee of several dozen leaders that was headed by three tri-chairs. This year marks the inaugural year for what organization leaders are calling the Event Leadership Team. Team members will rally volunteers and teams, plan and organize the event and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society for cancer research and patient care.
The leadership team has been divided into three categories: Bring the People, responsible for recruitment and engagement; Build the Fun, develops the experience of relay from entertainment to ceremonies; and Fund the Cure, fundraising/mission education and sponsorship. The rally in Huntington falls under the Bring the People category as team leaders will be recruiting Relay teams and informing the public of the organization’s mission to help end cancer.
This year’s overall Event Leadership Team is headed by Tom McCusker of Florence, who has been involved with the Hampshire County relay for 14 years. In addition to West, the Build the Fun leader is Kurt LaPlante of Chicopee, and the Fund the Mission leader is Patricia Mimitz of Southampton.
To learn more about the event or to donate, visit www.relayforlife.org/hampshirecountyma.