On June 6 and into the early morning hours of June 7, Floral Park Memorial High School held its first Relay for Life event. It was a success, and $110,535.23 was raised for cancer research. Almost 400 students, teachers, and community members camped-out on the high school football field so as not to miss one moment of this life- and community-affirming event.
The planning for this event began more than a year ago under the guidance of Dorothy Drexel, event chair and Kelly Falcone, assistant chair.
Together with numerous teams throughout the school community and volunteers, Drexel organized and developed fundraising of all shapes and sizes to allow the multitudes of people to apply their individual gifts and talents toward achieving the end result.
The event started at 5 p.m. on Friday in the school cafeteria with a survivor dinner. All cancer survivors from the community and their caregivers were invited to this event, and more than 60 people were in attendance.
Reverend Sikes of the United Methodist Church of Floral Park opened the occasion by saying grace, and Mary Ellen Moore spoke as the “caregiver” speaker. Another added delight was the fact that the Floral Park Memorial String Ensemble directed by Lou Dura entertained the guests.
At 7 p.m. the survivor lap began, and the event was in full swing. Arm-in-arm, friends and family celebrated life together as a community.
As darkness fell, the night was brightened by the glow of illuminated bags called Luminaria, each of which having a special meaning.
Some celebrate those who have battled cancer and have lived to tell their stories. Many remember the lives of those who have been lost to the disease. All represent someone special who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to fight back in their honor.
Poems were read by individuals who lost a loved one to cancer.
Visit www.relayforlife.org/floralparkny to make a donation toward the Floral Park Relay For Life event until Aug. 31, 2014.