Relay for Life preparations underway

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By Kristin Schultz

Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — This June, the community will once again take to the track at Niskayuna High School for the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser. Organizers hope to raise $50 thousand at this year’s event, which is led by a group of high school students.

Two of the leaders, seniors Kylie Bishop and Nick Forero have been involved with the relay for years.

“I got involved because I was familiar with the organization and was drawn to their mission and what they do,” said Bishop.

Planning for the June relay is essentially a year-round process. After last year’s event, organizers immediately began evaluating and working toward setting goals and getting ready for the 2017 event. Last year, the Relay for Life raised nearly $46,000.

To date, around 25 teams have signed up to walk in June, an increase over this time last year.

In addition to encouraging team participation, student organizers are securing corporate and business sponsorships. In the past, Starbucks — where some of the committee meetings are held — has been a sponsor, as has Hannaford Supermarket, which provided concessions at the overnight walk.

The organizers meet every two weeks after school to plan for the event.

Recently, the group hosted a kickoff at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Club in Latham, drawing almost 40 people to hear from a cancer survivor, a community educator and a long-time relay participant. The event raised almost $400.

“At this point in the planning, we’re getting sponsorships and making the ideas we had on paper into reality,” said Forero.

The Relay for Life will begin on June 2 at 6 p.m. and go through the night to June 3 at 5 a.m. and will take place at the Niskayuna High School track.

Follow preparations on Facebook at Relay For Life of Niskayuna or contact organizers through the Relay for Life website.