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Poly Prep prepares for 21st Relay for Life community fight against cancer

Hope for a cure is the theme as the Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights communities gather at Poly Prep Country Day School on Saturday, June 22 to celebrate the neighborhoods’ 21st anniversary Relay for Life at the place where it all started 21 years ago.

Hundreds of survivors, their families and friends will crowd the Poly Prep field to help support the fight against cancer via a signature event of the American Cancer Society. Students and faculty from more than 20 schools in Brooklyn will join together with the goal of raising funds specifically for pediatric cancer research.

The event will recognize and celebrate local cancer survivors with a survivors ceremony, and honor those who lost their cancer battle with a remembrance ceremony.

Gates open at 10 a.m. and registration begins at 11 a.m. before the team captain huddle at 11:30 a.m. The opening ceremony is at noon followed by P.S. 186 Zumba and the 2 p.m. survivor ceremony.

The McKinley Junior High School Band will take the stage at 3:30 p.m. followed by Zumba with Maryanne at 3:45 p.m. and P.S. 264 at 5 p.m.

At 6 p.m. there will a K-Spirit Tae Kwon Do demonstration on the field and a magic show at 7 p.m. followed by the luminaria ceremony at 8:45 p.m. and the fight back ceremony at 9:15 p.m.

This year’s honorary chair is Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island. The honorary survivor is Daena Cavallino and the honorary caregivers are Matthew and Sophia Cavallino. The Civic Service Award honoree is Capt. Anthony Longobardo, commanding officer of the 62nd Precinct.

All honorees will be recognized during the opening ceremony.

This year’s Luminaria honoree is Kaitlyn Bernhardt, a student who attended Bishop Kearney High School and lost her battle with cancer this past year. The Luminaria ceremony at twilight will honor Kaitlyn’s family.

All money raised goes to research and patient services that ACS offers to families in Brooklyn and beyond, according to Ashley Engelman, communications director for ACS greater New York City area.

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