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West Hartford Relay For Life Combines with Farmington Valley Relay For Life 2021

Hall High School's Warriors for a Cure at the 2019 Relay for Life event. Courtesy photo (we-ha.com file photo)

Registration is now open for the Farmington Valley Relay For Life, which now includes teams from West Hartford and Newington.

By Ronni Newton

Planning for Relay For Life – the American Cancer Society’s major annual fundraiser – is well underway for 2021 and team registration has opened for an event that due to the COVID-19 pandemic will look somewhat different this year.

West Hartford teams, along with teams from Newington, will be joining an expanded Farmington Valley Relay For Life, scheduled for Saturday, July 31, 2021, at 1690 New Britain Ave., a spacious area off Route 6 in Farmington.

“As a result of the pandemic there has been a dramatic decrease in funding to the American Cancer Society and they had to make very difficult decisions, which included far fewer dollars to invest in research and in patient care services. Consolidating Relays was another decision,” Susan Myers, a leader with the West Hartford Relay For Life and a member of the American Cancer Society’s Regional Board, said in a statement. “For those of us who Relayed with us in West Hartford, it is wonderful to be able to join the Relay For Life of Farmington Valley. West Hartford’s Hall High School and Northwest Catholic High School are already leading the charge with registering a team and fundraising. I encourage all to join us at a Relay and join us in making a difference in the fight against cancer!”

This is the 21st year for Farmington Valley Relay For Life, which not only is a fundraiser but also provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease while walking the track with their teammates. Included in the annual event is an evening luminaria ceremony, dedicated to those whose lives have been touched by cancer.

Relay for Life West Hartford. June 9-10, 2018. Photo credit: Hunter Marotto (we-ha.com file photo)

Organizers for the Farmington Valley Relay For Life note that it has been one of the most successful events of its kind. In 2019 – the last year the event was held – the event earned fourth place for the second year in a row out of 3,000 Relay For Life events in the United States. Farmington Valley Relay For Life has raised $4.4 million over the past 10 years for cancer research and patient programs.

“Relay has been very successful for 20 years in Farmington and keeps growing!” Linda Kime, Tri-Chair for Relay For Life of Farmington Valley said in a statement. “We are honored that the participants of the West Hartford and Newington Relay will be joining us for 2021. Our combined forces we will be even stronger and able to have a much bigger impact in an effort to eliminate cancer.”

Dr. Harvey Dutil, team recruitment chair for Relay For Life, echoed those thoughts. “We have been very lucky to grow our Relay for Life success year-over-year in the Farmington Valley,” he said. “To build upon our success, we welcome our neighboring friends from Newington and West Hartford to join us in this year’s in-person event.”

The Hall High School Relay For Life team, “Warriors for a Cure,” has already been raising funds for Relay, and in March held a successful virtual cooking class – “Paella for Life.”

To further its mission and kick off this year’s Relay season, individuals and teams from schools, businesses, civic groups, and more are encouraged to register their group at www.relayforlife.org/farmingtonvalleyct.

The 2021 Farmington Valley Relay For Life has been postponed from the spring and is currently scheduled for July 31, in hopes of holding it safely in-person this year. The event will be held following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Connecticut.

For more information on the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life or to join the Farmington Valley Relay For Life visit www.relayforlife.org/farmingtonvalleyct or contact Relay Recruitment Chair Dr. Harvey Dutil at [email protected].  Follow us on Facebook at @Relayforlifeoffarmingtonvalley and Instagram @farmingtonvalleyrelayforlife.

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  • Just to clarify: Relay For Life (yes, the F in For is capitalized, as it’s trademarked), started in 1985, in Tacoma, Washington. The Farmington Relay For Life is in it’s 21st year. Please come join us to celebrate survivors, remember those we have lost and to fight back by funding research!

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