Moorestown is taking steps to fight cancer by holding its second American Cancer Society Relay for Life event.
Moorestown High School will be hosting the event on Friday, June 10 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Members of the community are asked to form teams and come out together for this six-hour relay and entertainment experience that helps raise money and awareness about the fight against cancer.
“It’s going to be a really fun event and we’re really excited to come back for a second year and help a good cause,” Allison Schurr, Relay co-leader, said.
Moorestown’s Relay for Life last year was started when Schurr, now a sophomore at MHS, along with her friend and co-leader Caroline McCoy, wanted to bring the event to town. They had been going to Relay for Life events in other locations for years, with Schurr starting in 2008 after her grandfather passed away from cancer.
Last year’s event was so successful it was brought back again and will hopefully continue to be an annual Moorestown tradition.
“Relay for Life has always meant so much for me. It’s an honor to bring it back home to honor all of those fighting and those lost, and especially work toward a cure. I really wanted to bring it home again, have more community support throughout our town and really make it special for survivors,” Schurr said.
The event will start with a high-energy kickoff around 6 p.m. with remarks, followed by sponsors and professional caregivers giving medals to survivors, celebrating the lives of those who have battled cancer. After that, cancer survivors will have the honor of taking the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer, followed by the caregivers’ lap, celebrating those who cared for someone with cancer.
Then, the DJ on stage will kick off the event with energizing music, games and activities while people walk around the high school track. Games include soccer, kickball and volleyball. Food and concession stands will be available as well.
New this year is an organized talent show and relay pageant. A talent show was spontaneously put together last year and was so successful an organized one was scheduled this year. The relay will also feature a pageant where members of the community can dress up and show off whatever they’d like to dress up in for the relay.
“We won’t judge on looks; it’s just a fun way to raise money,” Schurr said.
In the middle of the night, a Luminaria Ceremony will be held where people donate money to have a bag made in memory of someone who passed or in honor of a cancer survivor. These bags will line the track and be lit up like lanterns while relay goers take a quiet walk of reflection around the track to think about those who are still fighting, have beaten or have passed away from cancer.
“The Luminaria Ceremony will honor survivors and all those who passed. It is a really special ceremony,” Schurr said.
The closing ceremony will be held around midnight. It celebrates what Relay does and donors have accomplished together that night. It is also a time to remember the lives of those lost, and to commit to continuing the fight against this disease over the next year.
Schurr hopes those who participate realize everyone needs to come together to try to get rid of this deadly disease that affects everyone in some way.
“I hope they take away the fact that this is such a deadly disease. We need to do everything in our power to get rid of it. We need to fight for those who are fighting, will fight and those who we have lost,” Schurr said.
Last year, the goal was to raise $15,000 and have 200 people participate. Moorestown far surpassed that goal, doubling it financially at $30,000 and having 300 participate. The goal for this year is $30,000 and to have about the same number of participants as last year.
As of last week, 19 teams and 80 participants have raised almost $15,000. People are still encouraged to sign up.
“The more the merrier. We’d like to get as many people involved as we can. It’s going to be a great time,” Schurr said.
To sign up for Moorestown’s Relay for Life and create a team, go to RelayForLife.org/MoorestownNJ. You can also sign up the day of the event, however by signing up early, you’ll receive important, up-to-date emails about the relay.
For more information on Relay for Life, go to RelayForLife.org or call (800) 227–2345. For specific questions about the Moorestown Relay for Life, contact community manager Mat Ogin at email@example.com or 856–673–5728.