Nearly 700 participants comprising 65 teams pitched tents and walked through the night Saturday around the track at Brennen Field to raise money for cancer research through the American Cancer Society (ACS). The top earners were Jeanne Kruithoff, who raised $6,000, and Maryann Andriach, who raised $5,472.
The event was kicked off at 4 p.m. with a lap around the track for cancer survivors and a lap for caregivers, followed by the parade of teams.
"Cancer survivors share their stories and people come together every year for this event because it is truly a community of people who share something in common," said Walter Sanchez, master of ceremonies, for the event. "We have raised well over $1 million for the Cancer Society at this event over the years, and it shows that Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale residents care."
"Maspeth Federal Savings had four teams at the relay this year, and the Glendale Kiwanis along with California Pizza Kitchen have been so instrumental in making a community event like this a success," said Leslie Orlovsky, Relay For Life coordinator for ACS.
Participant Hugo Falco attended the event as captain of the team “Stride Rites,” which raised $5,000 before the race. It was his second time in Relay for Life.
“We've had some friends and family that are gone,” Falco said of why he participated. “There's a survivor on the team, and she's walking around the track now."
Patty, another participant, said herself, her sister and her mother are all cancer survivors.
"The camaraderie, the support, the spirit of everyone,” Patty replied when asked about her favorite part of Relay for Life. “Everyone really comes together for this."
It’s not too late to help out. You can keep donating online at relayforlife.org until August 31, or send a check to the American Cancer Society at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road, Suite 400, Kew Gardens, NY, 11415, Attn. RFL of Middle Village
And if you’re one of those people who believe it’s never too early to start planning, the 2013 Middle Relay for Life has already been schedule for June 22 and 23.
(Additional reporting by Shannon Borst)