By SHERIDAN ROY
The 2019 Southington Relay for Life is coming up quickly, and there’s still time to sign up as a team or an individual. The overnight event will kick off on Friday, May 31 at 4 p.m. and close at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 1 at the Southington High School athletic fields behind the school.
“We’re on a good road right now just raising money and getting the final touches down,” said event lead Joyce McAloon. “We’re getting psyched now. We’re ‘ready to perform,’ as I like to say.”
Last week, McAloon reported the 2019 teams had raised over $32,000 for cancer research, which is more than the total amount raised last year. That number is expected to continue to grow as the event nears.
“I’m not a person who tries to meet fundraising goals—I’m just thankful for whatever we can get,” said McAloon.
The Relay for Life teams raise money through their own fundraising projects.
“Some teams work with a business, others raise money within their own facilities,” said McAloon.
The AmTrust team has been raising money within their business, whereas Jeans’s Angels in Action just finished a fundraiser they coordinated with Dominoes—for five Tuesdays in April, the team received a percentage of sales at the Dominoes store.
Other teams do quarter auctions, penny wars, dress down days and more.
One of the biggest changes this year is the event’s schedule. Previously, it was a weekend-long event, but it was shortened to one overnight stay at the track. McAloon and the committee recognized that it was difficult for participants to make that time commitment.
“We realize that everybody is so busy, and there are many other causes that this community wants to give time and resources to,” said McAloon. “We need to share the wealth and participate in a variety of fundraisers for important causes.”
At Relay for Life, teams camp overnight. The idea is to have at least one team member on the track for the entirety of the event to represent the team.
At the kickoff event in January, officials said they hoped with the condensed timeframe, more people would participate this year, and it worked.
“I’m amazed—this year we’ve gotten several new teams,” said McAloon. “We have 42 teams so far, and ten or fifteen of those are new teams, which is great.”
The event will open at 4 p.m. at the high school track. Opening ceremony will begin at 5:30, followed by the survivor and caregiver walk and dinner, kids activities, fight back ceremony, luminaria and torch ceremony, and other relay activities.
Night laps run from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. A team gathering/breakfast will be held at 8 a.m., followed by closing ceremonies.
According to senior manager of the American Cancer Association Alexis Maliga, the cancer death rate has declined by 27 percent since 1991.
“So much of that is because of events like this that help to provide treatment and support,” she said at the January kickoff. “That translates to hundreds of thousands of lives saved.”
Teams and individuals can still sign up, and torches and luminarias can still be purchased, by visiting ascevents.org and search for Southington. More at www.facebook.com/SouthingtonRFL.
To learn more or ask specific questions, contact McAloon at JoyceMac24@cox.net