The event has achieved great things, earning a spot in the top 25 New England events for the past two years. Now, as the South Windsor/Rockville Relay For Life marks 20 years, organizers are looking forward to another year of celebrating life and hope.
"I've always seen it as a healing thing - because cancer can take a lot from you, Relay gives you a chance to do something with whatever feeling you have and get something positive out of it," said Becca Lazinsk, this year's publicity chairman.
Lazinsk, who lost her mother to breast cancer as a child, said participating in Relay For Life gives her the opportunity to do something good for herself and the community as a result of something over which she had no power.
"There's nothing good about cancer but if it has to happen to you, hopefully we'll do something so it doesn't happen to someone else and you can be a part of that chain reaction," she said.
The kickoff event Friday is the start of the Relay season, when teams form, get organized and make plans for fundraising. Though many locals already have teams set, anyone is welcome to attend the kickoff event and learn about Relay and how they can get involved.
Participants range from small children to grandparents, Lazinsk said with everyone in between.
"We, especially in South Windsor, do a great job of having everyone from kids and middle-schoolers participating to adults and officials and business owners," Lazinsk said.
The kickoff will include with inspiring speakers, a chance to honor loved ones who have fought cancer, raffle prizes, and a free pasta dinner. The group will vote on a theme for the year, as well.
For more information, email Lazinsk at firstname.lastname@example.org.