YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown Relay for Life, awarded for raising the most money per capita in the nation last year, has kicked off another season of fundraising for the American Cancer Society.

The 12th annual Yorktown Relay for Life begins at 4 p.m. Friday, June 9, at Jack DeVito Veterans Memorial Field. Donations are already pouring in to relayforlife.org/yorktownny, with nearly $10,000 already raised. Last year, Yorktown raised about $170,000.

“I started working with this Relay for Life last year for the very first time, and I was told constantly by volunteers who have been to other Relays, ‘You’ve never seen anything like Yorktown,’” said Kaitlin Chieco, American Cancer Society senior community manager. “They are 100 percent correct.”

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Dozens came out to Grace Lutheran Church on Wednesday, Feb. 8, for the annual kick-off celebration. Awards were presented to several prominent contributors. Yorktown Relay for Life Lead Chair Kristina Iennaco presented the first award to the John C. Hart Memorial Library, which has hosted several Relay events this year and last year.

Jane McCarthy then presented Tom Conroy, Lakeland High School guidance counselor and Relay for Life advisor, with a Relay Community Champion award in honor of his years of volunteerism.

“Tom Conroy is the epitome of a kind, courageous human being,” McCarthy said. “For eight years, he has made a difference in honor of his wife, Caroline. We are so grateful for all you have done and all you continue to do for Relay for Life. I’m sure Caroline is smiling down and so proud of you.”

Town Supervisor Michael Grace, a cancer survivor, said Relay for Life offers something special to those undergoing treatment: a reminder they are not alone.

“Yorktown is an absolutely wonderful and, in a lot of ways, a magical place,” Grace said. “Relay for Life is always one of those fantastic weekends in Yorktown that becomes lore and legend in the way it operates.”

At the Relay for Life kick-off, there were live performances from Queens singer Molly Adele Brown and Yorktown band Class Action. There were also desserts donated by JV Hot Bagels, Grandma’s and Turco’s.