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    Thursday, July 18, 2024

    Relay for Life brings community together June 22

    A survivor lap kicks off the annual Relay for Life celebration to raise funds to fight cancer, this year held June 22 in Norwich. Photo submitted
    Riders of Fire motorcycle group is part of the Relay for Life activities. Photo submitted
    The Relay for Life includes a box car event for children. Photo submitted

    Events & Ceremonies

    10 a.m. Opening Ceremony followed by survivor lap

    11 a.m. Band – Branded (until 12:30)

    Noon Kids Activity – Box Cars

    12:30 p.m. Riders of Fire CT1 Motorcycles Arrive

    1 p.m. Demo: Luis Pabon Dance Arts

    1:30 p.m. Pet Adoption – All Paws on Deck

    2 p.m. Band – Jim Taylor (until 3:00)

    3 p.m. Kids Activity – Decorate Masks

    3:45 p.m. Demo: Crow & Cauldron Witch Dancers

    5 p.m. Band – Karen Lussier Band (Until 6:30)

    6:45 p.m. Demo: Champions Karate

    7 p.m. Pound Auction

    8:30 p.m. Basket Drawing Results

    9 p.m. Luminaria Ceremony

    9:30 p.m. Closing Ceremonies

    10 p.m. Relay Over

    Every year over 4 million people come together at Relay for Life Events around the world to support the American Cancer Society and help finish the fight against cancer.

    My husband Charles and I have been co-chair of the event in southeastern Connecticut for the past four years. I have been relaying for 15 years.

    I started out as signing up on a team for work, and branched out the next year, starting our own family team. Over the years, I have had many family members and friends who were diagnosed with cancer. We have lost many to cancer, but fortunately many have survived with early detection.

    This year our Relay for Life in Norwich will be held at Dodd Stadium on Saturday June 22, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., rain or shine. The money raised is used for cancer patients who need rides to treatments and for families who stay at Hope Lodge for free or a reduced rate if treatment is required out of state. We also have a 24/7 help line (1-800-227-2345) for all cancer patients or families.

    Stop by and enjoy some of our activities, walk a few laps for family and friends who have cancer or just listen to our bands and watch demonstrations. During the day we are selling luminaria bags that can be personalized and decorated for a ceremony which ends our event .

    Admission is free.

    We come together every year to support and celebrate survivors and caregivers. We raise money year-round with our kickoff in October. We have various events such as dinners, craft fairs, trivia nights and many more to raise funds for our goal.

    We were at Norwich and Montville Stop and Shop earlier this month for Paint the Town Purple. We were giving purple ribbons for monetary and canned good donations. These ribbons will be displayed the day of our relay, and we also donate canned goods to the Gemma Moran Food Pantry in New London.

    During COVID, like many others, our fundraising took a major hit. Some patients were not able to get rides to treatment, some Hope Lodges were closed, and some could not get treatments because centers didn’t let people in.

    The first year of COVID we didn’t have a luncheon for cancer survivors and caregivers due to not having an actual event. After that we started having a separate luncheon at the Moose Lodge in June, free to cancer survivors and a caregiver each year.

    Before the luncheon we take a survivor lap around the building (as we do at the relay event). Anyone who would like to be on our invitation list can sign up at our relay. We sent out 65 invitations last year, but we would like increase our database.

    Each year at relay we have a theme, this year is Mardi Gras.

    Your Turn is a regular feature in the Times. To contribute, email times@theday.com.

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