By Lisa Capobianco
The Southington Relay for Life held its annual kick off recently, celebrating the town’s success of benefiting cancer research while getting ready for this year’s event.
“It gets them psyched about Relay,” said Event Chair Joyce McAloon, adding that team captains and members of the Relay Committee from last year flocked to the event.
During the event, Southington Relay received an award from the American Cancer Society for being in the top ten nationwide in per capita money raised. Last year, Southington Relay raised more than $136,000 for the American Cancer Society, with 61 registered teams, McAloon said.
From team captains to participants to sponsors to businesses, McAloon said the entire community in town contributed to the success of Southington’s Relay for Life.
“We were ecstatic,” said McAloon. “Southington stands together.”
For McAloon, Relay for Life serves as a meaningful event, since she is a breast cancer survivor. She has been actively involved in Southington Relay since 2007 when she overcame the disease.
“It is an event that changes your life,” said McAloon, adding that since 2007, Southington schools have raised over $150,000 for Relay. “It is amazing how you see the people in our town step forward.”
During the kick-off, Southington Relay also recognized Team Goralski as a “Sapphire” team for raising just over $15,000, said Team Captain Mike Goralski. Since the team got involved in 2002, it has raised over $60,000 for cancer research. Mike Goralski and his brother Brian said the support of the community during their three major fundraisers for Relay played a significant role in their success with raising money.
One of the major fundraisers includes a dance, which always brings a crowd, said Brian Goralski.
“It feels great. We are proud of what we done,” said Team Goralski member Brian Goralski.
“It is really a group effort,” Mike Goralski added.
Currently, at least 25 teams have already registered for this year’s Relay for Life in Southington. Although Southington Relay has not set an exact goal for the amount of money to be raised, McAloon said she hopes the real goal is to ultimately help find a cure for cancer.
“Our mission is to find a cure,” McAloon said. “Whatever we raise helps to make the goal.”
The Southington Relay for Life will take place Friday, May 30, scheduled for 4 p.m. at Southington High School. Anyone interested in participating in the event can register at relayforlife.org/getinvolved.