Relay For Life in Delhi raises over $102,000 for American Cancer Society

Video by Jessica Vecchione.

This weekend, hundreds of people descended on the Delaware County town of Delhi for the annual Relay For Life, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.

During the two-day relay, teams camped out overnight at the American Legion Field and took turns walking or running around the track. Each team must have someone walking at all times throughout the event.

The first Relay For Life was held in Tacoma, Washington in 1986, a year after a local surgeon raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society by running for 24 hours straight at a local track. Since then, the event has grown to a national movement, with relays held in hundreds of towns and cities.

The first evening of each Relay For Life, as dusk is falling, teams hold a candlelit ceremony. White paper bags with candles, called luminaria, are set out around the track in honor of people who have battled cancer.

This year was Delhi's tenth Relay For Life. Organizer Christina Viafore said that the event raised $102,668.77.

Local filmmaker Jessica Vecchione was there to document the event, and spoke with organizers and participants.

For Delhi resident Vicki Merril, the relay was a show of support to her family.

"As the mom of a survivor and a caregiver, I think it's a great testament to what these people go through, and to the love and support they get. The community of Delhi is fantastic," she said.

Martha Vink, pastor of the United Ministry of Delhi was happy with the turnout.

"The community and the college are here together, and it just draws people from all over Delaware County and beyond," she said.

In the ten years Delhi has been hosting the Relay For Life, the event has raised over $1.3 million.

A list of teams and donors can be found on Vecchione's Vimeo page.