BAY RIDGE — Despite cloudy weather, it was a great day to kick off the 2020 Relay season as supporters gathered on Saturday, Jan. 4 at the corner of 86th Street and Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge to join in the first Relay for Life event of the New Year.
“This is amazing to be here today, starting our Relay for Life for 2020,” said event leader Amy Christodoulou of the First Lap event. She was joined by local Bay Ridge Bensonhurst Relay organizer Elaine Delaney, a parent coordinator at P.S. 186, and herself a breast cancer survivor.
“We lost four close family members and friends to cancer in 2019,” Delaney told this paper. “So I’m walking in honor of their memory. We lost my girlfriend Alison’s mom, my sister-in-law, my nephew and another girlfriend. We’re walking in their honor today and for all those who lost their battle. But on a good note, my cousin is a survivor and we are walking today in his honor as well,” she added.
Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Clapp walked and ran around a track in Tacoma, Washington, in order to help raise awareness and funding for his local cancer charity.
According to Delaney, Relays took place all across the United States and in other countries as well.
“It was such a great day. So many took their First Lap here in the U.S.A.,” said Delaney. “So many other countries also participated. Thank you to Ireland, Denmark, the UK and South Africa, just to name a few.”
Locally, participants in the Relay for Life walk held support signs and walked in solidarity along 86th Street toward 14th Avenue.
When asked when the walk would end, Delaney said, “Not until we can’t walk anymore because together we will make a difference.”