Letter to the Editor to Boyertown community from ACS staff partner re: ‘Relaying through the rain’

JEsi yost — Berks-Mont News

To the Boyertown Community:

As a staff partner with the American Cancer Society, I have been blessed to work with many communities as they raise money to support local cancer patients and fund cancer research. I have never been as proud as I was of the Boyertown volunteers and participants who took part in the Relay For Life of Boyertown on June 27-28.

It was an event planner’s worst nightmare – despite all our hopes and prayers we were greeted on Saturday morning by unrelenting rain that only intensified as the day went on. Relay For Life, a 24 hour fundraiser that is part walkathon, part community fair, is rain or shine – because cancer patients aren’t able to halt their treatment when the weather won’t cooperate.

Hundreds of people attended regardless, never complaining about what could not be changed. They walked laps and shared stories of the loved ones faced with cancer. I will always remember having dinner under the pavilion with two melanoma survivors and an 89 year old man. So many survivors came out during the worst of the storm to be a part of a ceremony in their honor.

Although we were forced to vacate the park overnight, I was blown away by how many returned the next morning – and the donations they brought with them. Overall we raised roughly $33,000 during those 24 hours, making our yearlong fundraising total over $196,000, an outstanding sum. But because of the weather we are still short of our $218,000 goal. If you or a loved one has been touched by cancer, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the American Cancer Society. You can donate online at relayforlife.org/paboyertown or mail checks made out to the American Cancer Society to Relay For Life of Boyertown; 498 Bellevue Ave; Reading, PA 19605. The American Cancer Society is counting on these funds to carry out our mission, and we need your help to raise them.

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To everyone who joined me on that sopping Saturday, you have my deepest gratitude. Thanks are also due to all those associated with the Boyertown Community Park for hosting our event and to those at Boyertown Junior High West for allowing us to move our luminaria ceremony there.

Sincerely, Amy Miller American Cancer Society