Report by Paula Antolini, June 1, 2019, 3:14PM EDT
A beautiful sunny sky and warm weather had spirits high as the 25th Anniversary of Relay For Life of Greater Danbury event began its opening ceremony at 11am on the Bethel High School track, honoring everyone who’s been affected by cancer and everyone who has contributed to the success of this year’s Relay season.
Katherine Kosec is the 2019 Honorary Survivor, a 20-year breast cancer survivor who has volunteered for Relay For Life for many years. She could not attend this year’s ceremony so her niece Theresa Kosec read a speech written by Katherine. Eileen Earle, Director of Bethel Parks and Recreation also said a few words.
Members of the Bethel High School Choir performed, lead by Ms. Karen Neville.
The Survivors and Caregivers Walk followed the opening ceremony at 11:30pm. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life honors their strength and courage with every step they take. Whether you were diagnosed 10 days ago or 10 years ago, you can walk while everyone gathers together to cheer you on.
The Survivors and Caregivers Luncheon took place at 12:30pm in the Bethel High School cafeteria with a colorful Mardi Gras theme, “Unmask the Cure” creatively developed and organized by Teresa Fogel. We saw many familiar faces at the luncheon as well as new attendees, including individuals from Newtown this year. The luncheon was catered by Olive Garden and music was provided by the Bethel High School Chamber Strings featuring a violin solo by alumni Gia Antolini. Bart Fogel was MC.
Thanks to the many local businesses and individuals for the generous donations of Relay For Life Luncheon door prizes, service donors and volunteerism:
The Olive Garden Restaurant, Verano’s Bakery, Redding Roasters, Agway of Bethel, Artistry of Hair, Armondo’s Restaurant, Bethel Advocate News Media, Bethel High School Chamber Strings Ensemble, Bethel High School NJROTC, Bethel High School Staff, Chamomille Natural Foods, Captain Lou’s Chowda House, Caraluzzi Family, Elegant Nails, Hollandia, Kathryn Kosec Honorary Survivor 2019, La Zingara Restaurant, Michele Nails, Olivia’s Armoire, Service Merchandise.com, Silver Touch Jewelry, Snap Fitness, Stew Leonards, The Fogel’s, Quality Gem.
The Luminaria Ceremony will take place at 9pm. Relay For Life states, “During this ceremony everyone touched by cancer is represented with a Luminaria. Each light represents a life—a life taken by cancer, a survivor of cancer, or a support for a person still fighting the disease. It’s a powerful demonstration that gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers comfort and hope.”
The closing ceremony will begin at 10pm. “It is the time to commit to take action and help lead the fight for a world free from cancer. It’s a time to celebrate what Relay has accomplished together and a time to unify for the work that needs to be done moving forward,” states ACS Relay For Life.
So far the top three Bethel fundraising teams are Scooby Strong with $11,935, Pink Ladies with $7,439 and Captain’s Cure-ageous with $6,554. Top three fundraising individuals are Carol Eagan with $11,430, Christopher Farrington with $3,275, and Laura McKormick with $3,011.
Relay For Life is a grass roots, community-based team event.
The event will continue until 11pm tonight. Come on down and have some fun!
VIEW PHOTOS BELOW.
THE SURVIVORS AND CAREGIVERS WALK
THE RELAY FOR LIFE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS LUNCHEON
THE OPENING CEREMONY
BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE RELAY FOR LIFE SURVIVORS & CAREGIVERS LUNCHEON