NUTLEY, NJ – The Township of Nutley’s 13th Annual Relay For Life, the signature fundraiser for American Cancer Society, provided the community with a feeling of hope and inspiration on Friday evening, May 17 at DeMuro Park.
 
The 2019 edition of the event, a massive fundraising initiative on behalf of the Nutley Parks and Recreation Department, began with Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci kicking off the event from a big stage located at the center of the DeMuro track.
 
Public Safety Commissioner Al Petracco and Public Affairs Commissioner Steven Rogers were also on hand during the opening ceremony.
 
 
“This year’s theme is ‘Believe in Hope’ and I believe that hope was born right here in Nutley, New Jersey,” said Commissioner Tucci, Director of Parks and Recreation.  “Here in Nutley when things get tough and people get afflicted with different ailments and different types of cancer, we don’t get down, we don’t give up, we double-down, and we work harder and that’s why we are winning.”
 
Nearly 400 participants – including 30 cancer survivors – from 40 teams took turns walking around the DeMuro track throughout the evening event to help raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.

 
To date for the 2019 fundraising season, the community has raised $88,441.03, pushing the overall Nutley total since 2007 to more than $1.3 million.
 
“I have to single out one person and that’s Anne Rotonda from Team Annie’s Courage, who has raised more than $23,294, which is more than any team has raised in the history of Nutley Relay,” Tucci said.
 
Annie’s Courage is the first-ever Sapphire Level Team in Nutley Relay, with $24,303.87 raised as of press time.  Rotonda was presented with a special trophy by Tucci, Petracco and Rogers to commemorate her teams unbelievable fundraising accomplishments.

 
“I also want to thank our partners at American Cancer Society, our phenomenal event chairperson Heather Soto, our co-chairs from the Parks and Recreation Department – they are the best – and our entire Nutley Relay executive committee,” said Tucci.
 
Relay was a fun night for all ages as each team set up a themed campsite at the event and added to their fundraising efforts by collecting donations from food, goods, games and activities.  The money was put towards each teams’ overall fundraising goal.
 
Janet Halchak delivered an emotional survivor speech.  Connie Kratt received the 2019 Eternal Flame Award, along with special recognition to Nancy Carroll.
 
The Survivor Dinner was donated by Nutley Park ShopRite.  Robert Frannicola of Ultimate Entertainment provided music and served as emcee.
 
For the second consecutive year, TAPinto Nutley was proud to be a supporter of Relay For Life.
 
Relay For Life began nationally in 1985 and is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. 
 
Nutley’s 4th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day is Sunday, June 2 at Turtle Back Zoo, with the event open to survivors and caregivers, and a guest.
 
For information or to donate, visit RelayForLife.org/NutleyNJ.