On Saturday, June 3, volunteers from the American Cancer Society will be joining forces with Union County and surrounding communities to take steps toward a common goal: the elimination of human suffering caused by cancer. Relay For Life of Rahway is a 12-hour event that will take place at the new Rahway River Park Stadium, from noon until 11 p.m.

The American Cancer Society is grateful to the City of Rahway and Union County Department of Parks & Recreation for hosting Relay For Life at this brand new location. Excitement is generating in the community as the date of the event draws nearer.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s celebration of hope and survivorship. Teams camp and take turns walking a track in honor of those who have fought cancer and in memory of those who are no longer with us. Funds and awareness raised by “Relay” support the lifesaving work of the American Cancer Society through research, education, advocacy and patient/family services.

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Each and every member of the community is invited to join us. When you arrive, you’ll be surprised to find that this is not a typical fundraising walk. It’s a unique opportunity for all to make a serious difference in the fight against cancer while enjoying a community gathering and festival. We joyously honor and celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, who continue to live and fight each day with this disease…while simultaneously embracing and supporting those who’ve lost their loved ones to cancer.

For some, a cancer diagnosis can bring on feelings of loneliness and isolation. However being present at Relay For Life can change that. The event begins with the “Survivor Celebration Lap” where hundreds of survivors unite in the fight proudly, walking the track together. Witnessing and taking part in this incredible gathering is a genuinely uplifting experience. The best part of all is that each survivor, when in the company of such an astounding number of fellow survivors, will no longer feel alone.

The most emotionally moving time during Relay For Life takes place during the Luminaria Ceremony. At nightfall, hundreds of candles are lit which illuminate the track and guide us though the darkness during a “silent lap.” We take this time to slow down for a moment in respect for the Survivors walking among us, and to reflect on the lives of those who did not win the battle.

It’s amazing to see so many luminarias burning bright – and to realize that each and every individual candle represents the life of ONE person: a loved one, family member, neighbor, or friend; people we know personally right in our community who have been diagnosed with cancer. The ceremony represents the HOPE that we all share: that the day will come when cancer is completely eliminated.

Everyone regardless of where they’re from is welcome to participate in Relay For Life of Rahway. Walkers can spend as little or as much time on the track as they wish. Volunteers are urgently needed to continue the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society seeks new teams and individual participants for everything from event planning to day-of-event set-up. A little of your time can make a huge difference in the fight against cancer.

For more information on the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Rahway, call 732-292-4264 or visit www.relayforlife.org/rahwaynj. Together, we will make a difference!