YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Cancer survivors and supporters paced Jack DeVito Memorial Field Friday night and early Saturday morning for the eighth annual Relay For Life of Yorktown.
The walk, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, raised nearly $235,000, according to event co-chair Jane McCarthy. She said she expects the final total to surpass $250,000. The current total represents an increase of $30,000 from the previous highest fund-raising total, according to McCarthy. Most of the proceeds go toward cancer research.
Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace, a cancer survivor, started off the “Survivor Lap” in a vintage car. The event also honored longtime supporter Randy Zapakin, who previously served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Relay. Zapakin, a longtime supporter of community events, died in November after being struck by a car while walking his dog near his home.
“It was heartwarming,’’ McCarthy said of the dedication to Zapakin. “They dedicated a bench in honor of him, and it was nice in the middle of the night when it was quiet to go sit on that bench. It will always be there and we’ll always remember him. It’s a major loss. We wanted to do something for him that would make his family feel proud and honored as well.”
McCarthy said more than 2,000 supporters attended the event.
“It’s successful because of the support of the community,’’ McCarthy said. “We came up with a slogan, There’s No Place Like Yorktown, and it’s true. It goes down to the kids and up to the seniors, and everyone else in between. We have so much participation from town. We encourage survivors to tell their stories, and when they tell them, we’re able to raise more money. Everybody is affected by cancer.”
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