For the sixth year, hundreds of people will descend on Charles Park this weekend to remember those who died from cancer, celebrate those who have survived and raise awareness around cancer prevention.
This year’s Howard Beach Relay for Life fundraiser will be held Saturday and will boast a 1980s theme, according to organizer Phyllis Inserillo, who said the annual event brings out anywhere between 750 to 1,000 people.
There will be a band, called White Wedding, after the 1980’s Billy Idol tune, who will perform at the event. Inserillo said a couple will be there to renew their vows after 25 years of marriage.
The event, which kicks off with an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. and goes on overnight into Sunday morning, will feature raffle prizes including an iPad Air, Sony PlayStation 4, 40-inch Samsung LED TV, Kindle Fire, Coach bag and digital camera, among other items. A Luminaria ceremony will take place at 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Inserillo said two Howard Beach residents who recently passed away from cancer will be honored at the event: Kevin Sturdy, who coached at Ave Maria Catholic Academy, and Gina Aarons.
“Really the point of the event is for all the survivors to come and remember all those who we lost,” Inserillo said.
Cancer survivors are strongly encouraged to take part and are invited to walk the first lap around the track during the opening ceremony. Survivors can register online at relayforlife.orgy/howardbeachny.
Registration is $10 at the door.
Relay for Life events, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, are held all over the country and feature teams that walk to raise money for cancer prevention in honor of those who died from the disease.