‘Just amazing:’ Bay Ridge Relay for Life raises over $90,000 at 24th anniversary fundraiser

Relay For Life participants.
Relay For Life participants pose for a picture during the event’s 24th anniversary on June 11.
Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s annual fundraising event, raised $97,908 during their 24th anniversary in Bay Ridge this past Saturday, June 11. 

The organization invited cancer survivors, caretakers, family and friends to gather for the annual Relay for Life walk and a special ceremony that included games, music, and magic. 

According to Elaine Delaney, the event lead, this year’s relay proved extra special as it was the team’s first time hosting the Bay Ridge event in person since the pandemic began.

“Amazing. That’s the only word to really describe it. I mean just amazing. To have everyone just be involved…we had a nice turn out on Saturday,” said Delaney. “Just to have the schools and community teams all back, it was just so amazing.”

Kathleen Conlon-Nielson being hugged at Relay for Life
Kathleen Conlon-Nielson, a lung and brain cancer survivor, being hugged at Relay for Life.Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

With the mantra “Bouncing Back,” the event took on a basketball theme complete with inspirational posters, booths and 45 teams all raising money. While the teams fundraise throughout the year, Saturday’s Relay was viewed as the “culminating event,” according to Delaney.

Community members including Councilmember Justin Brannan, Lindenhurst Middle School principal Frank Naccarato, and chairman of the Department of Surgery and director of the Maimonides Breast Cancer Program Dr. Patrick Borgen were honored at the event.

Dr. Borgen received the Leader in Cancer Care and Prevention Award, Naccarato received the Gold Together Pediatric Community Service Award and Brannan was honored with the Community Service Award.

The event committee also recognized two local cancer survivors: Roseann Greco Gilroy and Kathleen Conlon-Nielson.