Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

October 01, 2009

Photo caption: Senator Fuschillo (right) and Assemblyman Dave McDonough (center) speak with some of the cancer survivors who participated in the Merrick-Bellmore Relay For Life.

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) recently joined hundreds of local residents at the first Merrick-Bellmore Relay For Life at Merrick Road Town Park.

Relay For Life is an event run by the American Cancer society to raise funds for cutting edge cancer research, life-saving education, and patient services to cancer patients and their families. Teams of people from all walks of life join together and take turns walking or running around a track of path to raise funds, bring awareness, celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, and remember loved ones who have been lost to the disease.

Residents of all ages, from high school students to senior citizens, attended the Relay and walked throughout the night to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Men and women who have survived their battle with cancer were also on hand to participate in the event and started the relay off by walking the ceremonial first lap.

Senator Fuschillo thanked the walkers for their efforts and congratulated Merrick resident Hildy Teplitz and her daughter, Julie, who helped organize the event.

Relay For Life first started nearly 25 years ago in Tacoma, Washington, when a physician named Gordy Klatt circled the track at a local college for 24 straight hours to support his patients who were battling cancer and raise funds to fight the disease. By the time he was finished, Dr. Klatt had run 83 miles and raised over $27,000. Relay For Life is now the American Cancer Society’s signature activity.

“Cancer has affected nearly every one of us in some way, which is why it was great to see so many people volunteer their time and participate in a great cause. Their efforts will help advance cutting edge research towards finding a cure, as well as provide support to individuals with cancer,” said Senator Fuschillo.