NUTLEY, NJ – A feeling of hope and inspiration filled the air during the 2019 Kickoff Celebration to officially launch the 13th Annual Relay For Life of Nutley’s fundraising efforts on Thursday evening at Parks and Recreation Center.
Over 200 residents, including many local cancer survivors, attended the festivities that included dinner, live entertainment, guest speakers and information about upcoming events and fundraisers.
Relay is the ongoing community initiative on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Department to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.
The dinner was generously donated by Ralph’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, Nutley ShopRite supplied the dessert, and Robert Frannicola of Ultimate Entertainment provided music and served as emcee.
“Who would have believed 13 years ago that we would still be here doing this and doing it well,” said Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, Director of Parks and Recreation.  “I don’t think there is any other community our size that comes close to us because in 13 years, we’ve been averaging close to $100,000 a year.”

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for American Cancer Society and it takes place Friday, May 17 from 6 pm to 11:30 pm at DeMuro Park on Margaret Avenue.
“So far to date (since 2007), we have raised $1,259,782 and this is all because of you,” Tucci added.  “We have great people that help us with this and each year it gets bigger and bigger.”
Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around the DeMuro track throughout the evening.  Each team is always asked to have a member on the track to signify that cancer never rests.

Relay is a fun night for all ages as each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations from food, goods, games and activities.  The money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.
“We are also very excited because with Hackensack Meridian Medical School opening where Hoffman LaRoche used to be On3, they are starting some cancer research there and they have begun looking into additional laboratory space so they can help in the effort,” Tucci explained.  “So Nutley is really making its mark not only in raising money and providing services, but even through our medical school and we are very proud that they are here.”
Special recognition was given to local artist Denise Costantino, who donates her services to Nutley Relay and will be helping with an upcoming chalk art festival.
“Denise’s artistic projects have been a true testament to her believing in hope on Nutley’s 13th annual journey,” said event chairperson Heather Soto.  “Upon releasing our Hope Takes Flight butterfly, Denise emphasizes ‘to feel is to be alive’ and ‘to spread the wings to share.’  Denise’s art has added a magical sense of believing in a unique way.”
For the second consecutive year, TAPinto Nutley is proud to be a supporter of Nutley’s Relay For Life.
“This year, our theme is ‘Believe in Hope’ and here in Nutley, we always believe in hope,” Tucci concluded.
Relay For Life began nationally in 1985 and is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries.  For information or to participate, visit is proud to be a sponsor of American Cancer Society's Relay for Life
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