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Relay for Life Kicks Off Tuesday in Eastchester

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Four years ago, Marissa McKinney was by her father’s side as he battled prostate cancer. Now, Marissa and her father, William, will be part of the 2012 Relay for Life in Eastchester.  The event will be held in May on the campus of Concordia College, but Tuesday night there will be an informational meeting and a kickoff party at Ciao's at 6:30 p.m.

McKinney said the Eastchester event is the local version of a similar event held throughout the country.

"There are thousands of Relay for Life events," McKinney said. "But here at home, we want to get people excited about the event and sign them up to participate.”

The event will start at 6 p.m. on May 19 and end at 6 a.m. Participants will spend the night walking around a specially made path waiting for dawn.

"In a way, the event mimics the emotional impact someone has when they are diagnosed with cancer," McKinney said. "They walk through the darkness and then the light of surviving cancers comes."

The first lap of the walk is made by cancer survivors, McKinney said.

While some folks spend the whole night walking, other participants camp out in tents. The path is lit up with luminaries made by participants in memory of loved ones who did not survive the disease.

McKinney said nearly 300 participants raised $80,000 last year. She also was sure to give credit to the many businesses in town that lent their support with coffee and encouragement.

"Our first business to help with the event this year is Ciao's, who is donating their space and food to hold our kickoff party where we will share information about the event," McKinney said. "Everyone is invited. I hope lots of our neighbors will come and join us."

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