YORKTOWN, N.Y. - The path to this year's Relay for Life in Yorktown will follow the Purple Brick Road.
The 2013 Relay for Life season officially began Tuesday night with a kick-off party at the Elks Lodge, which was decorated to look more like the Land of Oz. Organizers dressed up as characters from the famous novel/movie to celebrate the season's theme of "There's no place like Yorktown."
Co-Chairs Jane McCarthy and Donna D'andrea were joined by dozens of supporters and teams to begin fundraising efforts for the June 14 cancer walk. The group raised $228,000 for the American Cancer Society in 2012 and McCarthy is hoping to top $300,000 this year.
"I think it’s pretty amazing what you can do with a little bit of purple power," McCarthy told supporters Tuesday night. "This year our whole theme, for the American Cancer Society, is to dream big, hope big and relay big. Why not?"
One of the event's biggest supporters is Yorktown Supervisor and cancer survivor Michael Grace, who knows first-hand how difficult it is to recover from the disease without the support of family, friends and the community.
"I am a survivor for probably more years than I remember now. I think it’s been 30, 35 years or so," Grace said. "In my life, the caregivers, going through what I went through, without them you don’t survive or don’t survive well.
"This organization makes Yorktown so proud," Grace said. "It’s incredible what Yorktown does. You raised $228,000 last year in an economy where everybody is hurting. It’s emblematic of what the Yorktown spirit is."
Relay for Life will return to Jack DeVito Memorial Field from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on June 14. The relay consists of walking teams that raise money by selling goods or services, holding fundraisers or receiving donations. For the entire event, each participating team has at least one member walking on the track.