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Relay for Life returns to fairgrounds next weekend, participants still needed

MORRISONVILLE There's only one week left until the annual Relay for Life of Plattsburgh returns to Clinton County Fairgrounds and organizers are getting closer and closer to their fundraising goal. Joan Brown, director of special events for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, said approximately $100,000 has been raised for the walk to date, though that figure is still short of the original $150,000 goal. And, while more than 1,300 people on more than 100 teams have registered to participate in the overnight event to be held 7 p.m. Friday, June 13, through 7 a.m. Saturday, June 14 Brown wants people to know participants are still needed. Were still looking for people to come out to show their support and we encourage them to register to walk in advance or even register the day of the walk, said Brown. We will be accepting walk-ons and it doesnt matter if you are part of a team or are walking by yourself. Its never too late. Recent events to support the upcoming walk have seen a more than favorable response, said Brown. The annual May Day for Relay, celebrated May 1, saw several local business owners and individuals decorating their establishments and homes in purple in support of Relay for Life. An annual fundraising garage sale brought in $3,200 and a first-ever benefit dinner at The Burgundy Room in Plattsburgh raised $4,600, all furthering the cause to help the American Cancer Society. I thought it was wonderful, Brown said of the response for the events. I think the people who came to the dinner really enjoyed it and are expecting it to not be a one-time event. We look forward to it happening again. And, the garage sale? Well, $3,200 made for a very nice garage sale. That support is something Brown said she and fellow organizers of next weekends walk would like to see continue. Wed like to see people come and support the walk, she said. Just to come show their support by either walking or even buying a raffle ticket or buying a hot dog. Were going to have all sorts of events happening so it will be more than a fundraiser; it will be a community awareness day. The Relay for Life walk will begin with an opening ceremony next Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by the survivors lap. The lap, which is open to cancer survivors, saw more than 200 people participate last year, a number Brown said she hopes is exceeded this year. Several events will be held throughout the night, including an 8 p.m. performance by The Boobie Sisters, a comedy troupe composed of breast cancer survivors. The Ceremony of Hope, in which hundreds of lighted bags called luminarias will be displayed in honor of those who have fought against cancer, will be held at 9:30 p.m. The ceremony will be followed by a performance by The Swinging Sisters at 10 p.m. and a Relay Idol singing contest from midnight to 2 a.m. The action wont stop there, however. An old-fashioned dance-off will be held from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., with participants vying to see who can remain on their feet the longest. The night will offer several other activities including pony rides, a dunking booth, palm readings, a childrens corner, educational displays and plenty of food, said Brown. In some ways, its more like a carnival, she said. Participants will even be able to help those with cancer by donating hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hair prosthetics for children who have developed long-term medical hair loss. Everything will wrap up with a closing ceremony at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. The cost to register is $20 per person. Donations may be made leading up to and following the event through the walks Web site, www.events.cancer.org/rflplattsburghny. Contributions made until Aug. 30 will count toward this years goal. Its never too late to participate, Brown reiterated. Even the day after youll just be early for next year. For more information, call Joan Brown at 297-7787, or event co-chairs Mark Brown or Kim Fulton at 314-1404 or 593-7327, respectively.

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