Relay for Life kicks off by recognizing last year’s top fundraisers

A local Relay for Life chapter – fresh off its record-breaking 17th year – celebrated its 2015 fundraiser while looking forward to the future at the Brooklyn Relay for Life kickoff and awards ceremony, held on Thursday, January 21 at Saint Athanasius School (6120 Bay Parkway).

“Brooklyn leads the way in fundraising and participation in Relay for Life every year,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who was on hand to congratulate those who have helped shape South Brooklyn’s Relay. “I was pleased to hand-out awards to the participants and I look forward to the big event in June.”

Also on hand were John Quaglione, representing State Senator Marty Golden and Fran Vella-Marrone, representing Congressmember Daniel Donovan.

“I was glad to represent Senator Golden at the Relay for Life Kickoff Event and honor some of our leading fundraising teams from last year,” said Quaglione. “Our community and our schools have strongly supported this event in the past, and we are confident that this year will be the same. Together, the money raised will support continued research in the hopes of finding a cure for cancer, and making a difference in the lives of so many here in Brooklyn.”

The 17th annual fundraiser for the Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights areas was held at Fort Hamilton High School’s athletic field and welcomed more than 450 people. To boot, it brought it over $218,000 for cancer research and treatment services.

Among those congratulated for their hard work were the members of Linda’s Angels, a fundraising team founded by local resident Donna Lubrano in honor of her friend, and daughter’s godmother, Linda Swalling – a two-time cancer survivor and the team’s co-captain.

Linda’s Angels has held the ranking of top fundraising community team in the Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst area for the last three years, bringing in an extraordinary amount of money for the cause.

And, this year, they’re doing it all again.

This June will be our 13th year, and our little team has raised over $100,000.00 in total,” said Lubrano. “This year I would love to break all of our prior fundraising efforts. I have someone very special to me presently fighting the battle and I plan on using this as more motivation to make sure we raise money for a cure.

The local chapter’s 18th annual Relay for Life will take place on Saturday, June 18.

“I am so happy that Relay is finally being recognized, and I hope more people in our community attend the Relay for Life event on June 18th,” Lubrano said. “It’s an amazing day spent honoring those who have fought the battle, those who have lost the fight and is such a wonderful, worthwhile and important event.

“I wish that everyone would attend just once,” she went on, “because once they do, they will come back every year. It’s a day filled with community, love, honor and even some tears – but all is worth it if we can raise money to find a cure.”

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