Relay for Life Returning to Barnegat in April
After a hiatus of five years, Barnegat High School is getting ready to host a Relay for Life on the football field on Friday, April 28, 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Michaela Spain, a junior, said teams and sponsors are being sought for the event where people run or walk laps around a track to raise money for the American Cancer Society. They can also raise funds by selling merchandise.
Spain said she has a cousin who coordinated a Relay for Life event at Fordham University.
“I participated in it and it got me thinking that Barnegat should do one again,” she said. “I’m very thankful that response from the students has been great.”
Patty Clark Brescia is coordinating entertainment.
“I teach musical theater through the Barnegat recreation department, so hopefully I can have some of my students perform,” she said. “I’ll also look to get some bands.”
The mission of the event is to “represent the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated,” said Crystal Figueroa, senior manager for Relay for Life at the American Cancer Society’s Jersey Shore Region.
“During each event there is a special recognition for cancer survivors, to give hope and encouragement to people who are battling this disease,” she said. “Relays are a true community gathering, as there is usually plenty of entertainment and fun activities.”
Figueroa said the relay is a classic example of how one person can truly make a difference. In 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., raising money to help the American Cancer Society.
“Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound,” said the ACS website. “Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. Gordy passed away August 3, 2014, at the age of 71 from heart failure after battling stomach cancer. But his legacy lives on. He helped shape an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global event raising over $5 billion to help save lives throughout the world.”
Figueroa said that last year, there were 5,200 relays held throughout the world. Closer to home, she said the Jersey Shore Region is looking to host 25 this year.
Interested teams and sponsors can contact Spain at 609-713-3765. —E.E.