‘Wave Goodbye to Cancer’! Many Locals Attended the Relay For Life Kickoff Event in Bethel; Honorary Survivor Chairman Name Revealed

Report by Paula Antolini
February 10, 2018 7:55AM EDT


‘Wave Goodbye to Cancer’! Many Locals Attended the Relay For Life Kickoff Event in Bethel; Honorary Survivor Chairman Name Revealed

The Greater Danbury Area Relay For Life Kickoff event, held on February 8, 2018, at Workspace in Bethel’s Clarke Business Park at 7:00pm, was a huge success, bringing in approximately fifty new people to learn about Relay and celebrate all the great work done last year, and to be inspired by the new Honorary Survivor Chair, Evan Wagman, AKA “King Evan.”

This year’s Relay For Life theme is “Wave Goodbye to Cancer” with beach-themed visuals.  Some individuals came to the kickoff event dressed in beachy summer attire to get into the spirit of things early.  The Relay event in the greater Danbury area will take place on Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 11am to 11pm, at the Bethel High School track, 300 Whittlesey Drive, Bethel, CT.


Scroll down to view more photos of the kickoff event, below.


Present Relay members talked all about how past Relay events worked, and about activities, entertainment, the process of fundraising for the American Cancer Society, and support of survivors, those still fighting cancer, and caregivers.

Sample games were played at the kickoff event, and prizes given to winners.

Many people signed a card with good wishes and prayers for ‘King Evan” to be given to him in the hospital.

The new members in the audience learned that the Relay event begins with a survivors lap around the Bethel High School track, then caregivers join in, then everyone else.  Activities are geared around making survivors and those still fighting cancer know they have lots of love and support in their journey.

The Luminaria Ceremony was also described, which is a solemn ceremony at nightfall that includes a silent lap around the track that is lined in glowing Luminaria bags. Anyone can purchase and decorate one or more Luminaria bags, adding the name of a loved one who is fighting cancer, or of an individual who has lost their battle, to honor them and support the cause for others.

At the 22nd Relay For Life of Greater Danbury 2017 event, Relay welcomed 31 teams, registered over 200 participants, celebrated 50 survivors, walked with over 400 community members, and raised over $78,000.



First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker was in attendance and welcomed everyone and spoke words of encouragement to the crowd.  Members of the Bethel High School (BHS) Tri-M Music Honor Society (also members of the BHS Choir) sung “Hero” by Mariah Carey, at the kickoff event.  Tri-M will also be the entertainment for the 2018 Relay For Life Survivor Luncheon for the Greater Danbury Area event, as they also were in 2017, and have also had a fundraising team for two years, continuing this year too.


Photo above: Evan Wagman, Honorary Survivor Chairman 2018 (Contributed photo).


A poignant moment of the night was when attendees heard the story about this year’s Honorary Survivor Chairman, Evan Wagman, AKA “King Evan” as he is known, a young man presently in the hospital fighting leukemia (acute lymphocytic leukemia or ALL) diagnosed just this past November 2017.

Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for almost 1 out of 3 cancers. Most childhood leukemias are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Most of the remaining cases are acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Chronic leukemias are rare in children.  Click here for more information about childhood leukemia.

It’s easier than ever to get involved and help to make a difference in the fight against cancer, to find a cure.  The American Cancer Society could not achieve what they do without volunteers, and that could be you.  Become a volunteer, make a tax-deductible donation, or participate in a fundraising event to help us save lives.



Info. from the American Cancer Society:

Volunteer to Save Lives

As an American Cancer Society volunteer you can honor a survivor or a loved one lost to cancer, help save lives of people in your local community, and around the world. It only takes a little time to do a lot of good. Discover how rewarding it is to be a volunteer.  Sign up to volunteer here.  or call 800-227-2345.

Donate to the American Cancer Society

Your gift means we can bring hope to cancer patients. Together we are fighting cancer smarter, better and harder than we ever have before. Thank you for your support.  Donate here.  Your tax-deductible donation funds lifesaving research, education and care — and would mean so much to someone fighting cancer.

Fundraise to Save Lives

American Cancer Society fundraising events are inspiring and uplifting ways to save lives wherever you are. From black-tie galas to full-length marathons, we have an event that will suit your interests as we work together to free the world from cancer.  Click here to find an event near you.



American Cancer Society Mobile Fundraising App

Collecting donations to help finish the fight against cancer has never been easier.

The American Cancer Society FUNdraising App enhances Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events by making it easy and FUN to raise money and track your progress.

Download our Mobile FUNdraising App:

Click here to get it on Google Play.

Click here to download on the App Store.


Click on image above to view larger.



  • Whether you’re brand-new or a returning participant, easily find and register for Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events without ever leaving the app.
  • Ask for donations & send donation reminders via SMS, email, Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • Easily & securely accept in-person credit card and check donations with your device’s camera.
  • Utilize PayPal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay for easy, no-card-needed fundraising.
  • Set and update your personal and team goals.
  • Share your page and keep everyone updated on your progress via Facebook, LinkedIn, email or SMS.


  • All donations collected appear simultaneously on the app and in your web event dashboard.
  • You can accept personal or business donations and get real-time payment verification.
  • Attribute donations to a registered individual, team or event; send receipts and thank your generous donors.




Click on each photo to view larger.































Funds raised by Relay For Life events directly support the mission of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Last year Relay For Life participants helped to raise more than $279 million allowing the ACS to continue their lifesaving work.


Imagine a world free from cancer.

Help make it a reality.





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