By Meghan McCaffrey Contributing Writer
---- — The Otsego County Relay for Life announced their annual event in honor of the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month will occur on May 16 and 17, 2014 at the Cooperstown Dreams Park.
The Otsego County Relay for Life will also host a Warm Up on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The National Baseball Hall of Fame for past team captains and people interested in forming teams for this year’s event. A make-up date in case of bad weather is Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The Relay for Life is held in over 6000 communities across the United States and 20 foreign countries, said Carla Eckler, the Otsego County Relay for Life Public Relations chairperson in a press release for the event.
“Pre-formed teams camp out and team members take turns walking a track throughout the night in honor of those who have fought cancer and in memory of those who are no longer with us,” Eckler said in a press release.
In the past 16 years, the Otsego County Relay for Life has raised nearly 1.5 million dollars for cancer research, Eckler said. This year’s theme is Sweet Sixteen: A Celebration of Hope and Progress, a tribute to the number of years of fundraising done by the Otsego County Relay for Life.
“It’s a celebration of hope and a celebration of progress both for our local event and worldwide,” Eckler said.
“The last 3 years have been record setting years in terms of fundraising,” she continued. “We’re on a roll.”
Eckler said she hopes this year will be another year of abundant fundraising.
The Warm Up event on the 12th is a chance for teams from last year to celebrate and for all teams to discuss their fundraising goals for this year, Eckler said.
“It’s going to be a fun event,” Eckler said. “We’re really trying to promote team participation.”
“We’ve got an exciting new event-wide raffle,” Eckler continued. “The item was donated to us by a local business.”
Another “exciting” addition this year is there will be a warming tent for people seeking to get out of the cold, Eckler said. Suburban Propane in Colliersville has agreed to donate heaters for the overnight event.
“I think this will make a difference with event participation and satisfaction of participants,” Eckler said.
To help with the fight against cancer, the Bassett Mobile Mammography Coach will be present at the event and they will provide breast cancer screenings.
“Fittingly, during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a recent American Cancer Society report finds that death rates from breast cancer in the US have dropped 34 percent since 1990,” Eckler said in a press release for the event.
“It is statistics like this that motivate Relay for Life participants to raise money for cancer research, education, patient services and advocacy,” Eckler continued.
Eckler said the Otsego County Relay for Life “encourages area residents to help the American Cancer Society to help finish the fight against cancer.”
For the more information on the Otsego County Relay for Life, call Helen Gregory from the American Cancer Society toll free 1-800-227-2345 or locally in Sidney at 607-563-9634 or visit the website at www.relayforlife.org/CooperstownNY.