At the Red Cadillac (link) in Union Township, Woody Bodtmann and Maria Del Rio – who are both chairing this year’s Relay For Life in Roselle Park – discussed what the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the event mean to them. The upcoming Relay For Life was in question late last year (article) but it appears to be back on track.
“We wanted to stick with the American Cancer Society because [it] covers all cancers,” Maria Del Rio said as she sat with Woody Bodtmann during the Valentine Brunch that was this year’s kick-off event for the Relay For Life, “We want all cancer survivors to come out and be a part of the event.”
The event, being billed as the 2011 Mini Relay For Life of Roselle Park, will take place on June 4, 2011 at the Herm Shaw Field (next to the Roselle Park High School) from 6 pm till midnight. The event will still have an opening ceremony, a walk, and a closing ceremony. Each of these sections is meant to represent three (3) major themes – Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back.
“Everything will be the same as with the other Relays For Life,” Woody stated, “It’s just not going to be an overnight event.”
Between now and June, Team Roselle Park will be holding monthly meetings to prepare and organize. Maria Del Rio, who has been involved with the ACS for eight (8) years, wanted to get across that the mission of the Relay For Life is to bring awareness and support each community.
“It all goes for the same cause,” Woody Bodtmann added, understanding the need for community-based events and the importance of support from neighbors, “We’ll be as successful as our previous Relays.”
Giving some history of the Relay For Life, Maria Del Rio explained, “The purpose that it’s done as an overnight event is because when someone is diagnosed with cancer, in the evening is when they feel the most alone. Doing the Relay in the evening is a way to let them know we are here supporting them and we’re going to help them through their treatment.”
Both chairs welcome all members of the community to come and participate, even those families who have lost loved ones to cancer as they can be remembered during the luminary ceremony. Luminaries are candles placed in luminary bags that have the names of those who have battled or continue to battle cancer which are placed throughout the field as a mark of remembrance and honor.
The next meeting of the 2011 Mini Relay For Life will take place on Monday, February 21, 2011. Those wishing more information can visit them on Facebook (link – Facebook account needed) and Twitter (link).