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Chester County Press

Remembering those fighting cancer, and those we have lost, at Relay for Life

05/26/2016 10:59AM ● By J. Chambless

The Relay for Life of Kennett-Unionville will be held from the evening of June 3 to the morning of June 4 at Unionville High School.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

There are moments at any Relay for Life when those who have been affected by cancer – patients and family members alike – can pause and look around, and realize that they are not fighting alone.

Each year, Unionville High School hosts a Relay for Life overnight event, and this year's will be on Friday, June 3, beginning at 6 p.m. The fundraiser for the American Cancer Society features somber remembrances as well as an all-night party where people who have pledged to walk stay out on the track throughout the night.

In the morning, the community and participants are invited to a free breakfast in the nearby school cafeteria from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. that's sponsored and run by Unionville-Chadds Ford School District administrators.

So far, teams and individual participants have raised well over $15,000 for the Cancer Society, and the public is encourage to come out for the start of the event and donate to the cause.

A 6 p.m. high-energy kickoff on Friday celebrates the lives of those who have battled cancer. At 7 p.m., there will be a ceremony for survivors, who take to the track for the first lap as they are cheered on by the crowd. Then there's a dinner for survivors and their caregivers in the Survivor Tent.

From 4 to 8:30 p.m., the public is invited to come and see the silent auction items, and bid until 8:30 p.m. The winners will be announced by 9 p.m.

At nightfall, around 9 p.m., one of the event's highlights is the Luminaria Ceremony, as bags with candles inside are lit around the edge of the track. Bags are purchased by families and loved ones as tributes or encouragements, and are decorated before being lighted.

During the night, participants sleep in tents on the field, and get up at appointed times to walk around the track as music keeps everyone energized for the effort. When the event closes at 7:45 a.m., there's a ceremony to commit to continuing the fight against cancer. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m.

For more information, or to donate or sign up for the UHS Relay for Life, contact Stephanie Glancey at: [email protected], or call 717-397-3745.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email [email protected].