Join the fight against cancer

American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life kickoff rally set for Feb. 25

Now is the time to join the 2010 American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event that celebrates the lives of people who are surviving cancer and remembers those lost to the disease.

Residents from Plumsted, New Egypt, Upper Freehold Township, Allentown, Millstone Township, Roosevelt and the surrounding area are invited to attend the event, which raises money for American Cancer Society research and programs and brings neighboring communities together to raise awareness of ways to live a healthier, cancer-preventive life.

Relay Co-chair Jack Trotta, of New Egypt, said, “Cancer doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. It affects everyone from every walk of life. The Relay for Life is an opportunity for anyone who has ever been touched by cancer to do something positive in honor of or in memory of a loved one.”

Teams are forming now. The kickoff rally will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the New Egypt American Legion, 2 Meadowbrook Lane, New Egypt. Team meetings will continue throughout the spring.

This year’s Relay for Life will take place on May 22-23. During the event, teams of people will take turns walking around the New Egypt High School track from noon on May 22 until sunrise May 23 and participate in various events held throughout the night.

Relay for Life represents the hopes 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. This year, participants will celebrate survivors — anyone who is battling cancer or who has beaten the disease.

Relay Publicity Chairman John Pfefferkorn, of Millstone, said, “The continuing advancements against cancer are a reason to celebrate. The economy is tough right now, but so are our collective efforts to fight for a cure. A small amount of your time can contribute to a major cumulative effect. Hopefully, it doesn’t strike a loved one before we realize it’s a common mission of hope and you can be part of the solution.”

Approximately 80 cents of every dollar raised at the relay will go toward fighting cancer. Contributions to the Relay for Life help the American Cancer Society to fight cancer in four main ways — research, education, advocacy and patient services.

American Cancer Society funds approximately $130 million of cancer research a year. Right now, nearly $43 million in American Cancer Society research grants are at work in New York and New Jersey, according to the ACS.

Since more than two-thirds of all cancer deaths are preventable, the American Cancer Society tries to teach people how to live healthy lifestyles and get regular checkups. The organization’s advocacy initiative also works to educate policy makers about cancer and how it affects the individuals and families they represent.

The American Cancer Society also offers numerous programs and services to those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer survivors and their families can call 1- 800-ACS-2345 to get information, referrals and links to resources in their community.

The first eight relays held in New Egypt raised over $725,000 to support the American Cancer Society.

Relay Co-chair Anita Pfefferkorn, of Millstone, said, “We couldn’t have come this far without the generosity of many contributors and the volunteers who share a goal to fight cancer. I’m very pleased with the outreach and support and especially from the younger people who have gotten personally involved. It’s important for people to contribute to the community they live in.”

For more information about Relay for Life, contact Anita Pfefferkorn by email at relaymay22@aol.com or contact Jack Trotta at newegyptrelayforlife@gmail.com.