Pushing to generate a flock of cancer-fighters

In May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.

The Longwood Rotary is encouraging area residents to flock to the fight against cancer.

The Longwood Rotary is encouraging area residents to flock to the fight against cancer.

A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since then, the Relay For Life movement has morphed into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

The 2016 Relay for Life for Kennett Unionville will take off on Friday, June 3, at 6 p.m. It will conclude at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, just in time for the Community Breakfast at Unionville High, which runs from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Unionville-Chadds Ford administrators promise to serve up good food as well as good cheer.

Relay for Life is an organized overnight community fundraising walk with teams of people camping out and taking turns around a track. Food, games and activities provide entertainment and build camaraderie during the event.

One of the more visible groups participating this year is the Longwood Rotary, which has been actively –and colorfully – raising funds in advance of the event.

The Longwood Rotary has dispatched "flock masters" to secretly (or not) place a flock of plastic pink flamingos on a friend’s lawn in exchange for a donation. If you don’t want a flock to land in your yard, you can buy “insurance” to avoid it – as long as someone doesn’t pay more to override any existing policy.

Explaining the rationale for the silliness, a Longwood Rotary press release explained the importance of focusing public attention on the Relay For Life events, which unites communities across the globe to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much. “The funds raised truly make a difference in the fight against cancer - just ask one of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors who will celebrate another birthday this year!” the release said.

To sign up or make a donation, visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=74711

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