American Cancer Society Will Host Relay For Life At East Stroudsburg University

Join the movement dedicated to helping communities attack cancer at ESU this weekend.

The American Cancer Society will hold a Relay For Life at East Stroudsburg University’s Eiler Martin Stadium on June 18 and 19. The event is sponsored by Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute. According to their website, Relay For Life is one of the largest peer-to-peer fundraising events in the world. Their mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Through funds donated, time given, or awareness raised, communities around the globe have come together to raise funds for a future free from cancer.

For a donation, anyone is able to purchase a homemade paper luminaria decorated with the names of loved ones who have been touched by cancer. Luminarias can be dedicated to a loved one lost, someone currently battling cancer, or anyone who’s overcome it. Donations for Luminarias help the American Cancer Society continue to fight cancer on all fronts.

To participate, attendees can register for a local walk and sign up as a Team Captain, team member, or individual participant. They then can start fundraising and spreading the word. The American Cancer Society provides tips and coaching every step of the way, including easy ways to raise funds online. Finally, event day. Attendees can participate at their local Relay event or choose to walk at home or in their neighborhood.

According to their website, the movement began in May 1985, when Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.

Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.

After previously battling stomach cancer, Gordy passed away from heart failure on August 3, 2014, at the age of 71. But his legacy lives on. He shaped an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global fundraising phenomenon.

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