SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - For the second year in a row, South Plainfield residents walked and ran around the track at Jost Field as part of the worldwide Relay for Life.
This year, Relay for Life events took place in over 5,200 communities in 20 countries. During the events, participants honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones who lost their lives to cancer, and raise money to fight the disease.
According Debbie Boyle, one of the organizers, 50 people participated in South Plainfield’s event, which started out under cloudy skies and scattered raindrops.
Stephanie Coutros, the cancer society’s director of special events told participants not to let the weather dampen their enthusiasm. “Despite the weather, we are still going to fight, just like we are going to fight to find the cure for cancer.”
In addition to taking part in the relay, many participants purchased luminaries in memory of loved ones, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. The luminaries circled the track and were used to form the number “100” in the bleachers.
Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran around a track in Tacoma, Washington. He raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society that day, and a year later the event catapulted to the next level when 340 supporters joined in. Today, Relay for Life is a worldwide event and has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer.
The Mayor’s Wellness Committee, the Middle School P.T.O., P.B.A Local #100, and the Cultural Arts Commission sponsored the event in South Plainfield, which was run in conjunction with the Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.