SOMERS, N.Y. – Residents will celebrate cancer survivors, remember those lost, and fight back against the disease by raising funds during the next four months for the annual Somers Relay for Life.
Each year, more than four million people in about 20 countries participate and have raised more than $400 million. The Somers relay alone has raised $301,296 in the last three years. Between now and the May 30 event, Somers teams will try to reach a $100,000 fundraising goal.
“We are very determined to reach it, or even better, beat it,” said Sarah McCanon, a Relay For Life specialist working with the American Cancer Society on several Relay For Life events in Westchester, including Somers.
McCanon, of Yorktown, said the goal is to get at least 40 teams signed up, which can be made up of kids, neighbors, families and coworkers. The outreach effort began Monday with a kickoff party at Somerfields in Somers. The event gave people a chance to learn more about the event and learn how to get involved.
“We want to get the people of Somers excited about this magical event that takes place in their town,” McCanon said. “This is an event created for the community of Somers to come together, so we can’t do it without the help from the people who live in this town.”
On May 30, team members will take turns walking on the track and fundraise during the event, which will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“The idea behind it is since cancer never sleeps, neither will we,” McCanon said.
The sunset symbolizes the time that the person gets diagnosed with cancer. The dark and cold of the night represent the difficult times that person faces when they start treatments.
“The night continues to get darker, and people start to get tired, but they know they have to keep going,” McCanon said. “Finally, the sun starts to rise, and the end of the treatment is near. They finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that they have their new beginning.
"Participants feel the brightness of the morning and know that they end is finally near.”