RARITAN TWP., NJ - Four years ago, Ian Pereira and his high school buddies participated in their first Relay For Life, raising about $2,000. On May 21, that same group of friends – many of whom are now away at college – plan to have a reunion at the Relay For Life of Hunterdon County.

The team – Miggy Strong – includes more than 50 members who take turns walking or running the track throughout the night. This year they expect to raise more than $12,000 for the American Cancer Society’s cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient service programs.

Pereira now serves as a volunteer leader on two Relay For Life Committees in the area – the Relay For Life at Raritan Valley Community College, and his home event in Hunterdon. A student at Raritan Valley Community College, he credits his experience with shaping his career aspirations to work in non-profit communications. He encourages other students to get involved. Creative fundraising is encouraged.

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Hunterdon's Relay for Life events will be held May 13 at North Hunterdon High School In Clinton Twp. and May 21 at Hunterdon Central High School here.

“Relay For Life hits on all of the things I like to do,” said Pereira, “It’s a fun event and it helps people in our community. I hope one day for the American Cancer Society as a staff partner.”

“Our team (Miggy Strong) raises funds by creating and selling T-shirts, individual fundraising, and hosting a bubble ball soccer tournament on the day of the event,” said Pereira.   

Last year, 4 million people participated in more than 6,000 Relay For Life events worldwide. Survivors and caregivers are honored at the event, and a special luminaria ceremony takes place after dark to remember those who have been lost to the disease.

If you would like to be part of Relay For Life or register a team, visit relayforlife.org or call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.