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Relay for Life a runaway success - Brooklyn Paper

Relay for Life a runaway success

Solidarity: Center, Jackie Gillette poses for a selfie with survivor, left, Maria Tabbita and great aunt Nina Gillette at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Bergen Beach on June 6.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The cancer warriors in Southern Brooklyn have done it again!

Fighters flocked to the fourth-annual Relay for Life in Bergen Beach on June 6 to walk, play and celebrate survivors, all in the name of beating cancer. And their tireless work paid off. The event’s organizer says donations were through the roof, totalling around $115,000 — and still climbing.

“It was a very successful day,” said Joe Gillette. “The numbers show that it went beyond our expectations. It’s a mind-boggling and wonderful feeling at the same time.”

The event, hosted by the Southern Brooklyn branch of the American Cancer Society, encouraged fighters of the illness to keep spirits high as they walked alongside survivors who are now cancer-free.

“It was really inspiring,” said Samantha Joseph, who battles colon cancer and cites the opening speech from survivor Anthony Cusumano as a highlight. “It gives you the hope to go on and hope that you can one day be cancer-free like they are.”

Fun activities filled the field to draw in a flood of generous donations — a pie-in-the-face booth earned more than $1,000 for the cause — while the luminaria ceremony provided moments of reflection and remembrance for those whom the disease had taken.

“It is a disease we really would like to find a cure for,” said cancer-fighter Elfreda Chaplin. “This is a chance to get together and talk about it and keep hope alive.”

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.

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