By David Weber
Over 69 teams decked out in purple and white attire helped raise over $133,000 toward cancer research on Saturday as part of Commack’s annual Relay for Life.
From 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning, over 650 registered participants joined forces at Commack High School’s track and football field with hundreds of other attendees to support the American Cancer Society.
This year’s relay was a major milestone for the community. Since it began hosting the event in 2011 just over $1 million has been raised. This year, a soft donation total of $133,000 was reported as of deadline Monday.
To mark the occasion, Julia Biggiani from the American Cancer Society and Event Co-Chair Stephanie Zweibel put together a pancake breakfast for those staying the night.
“We had a full schedule this year, from our 6 p.m. Survivors Dinner to fresh events like our campfire sing-a-long complete with s’mores,” Zweibel said. “We welcome new ideas and committee members, and would love to see this event continue in Commack for years to come.”
As the sun quickly dipped below the horizon, attendees gathered by the bleachers for a luminaria ceremony, lit only by the soft glow of white paper lanterns and a sea of multicolored glow sticks.
Commack High School Principal Leslie Boritz said the event is a sincere celebration of the survivors, caregivers, and memories of those who lost their battles.
“What makes Commack’s Relay for Life event so special is the tremendous commitment and participation from our students,” Boritz said. “This year we continue in our tradition of bringing the community together to help celebrate the ACS’s cause to celebrate more birthdays.”