Baldwin’s Relay for Life, conducted for the fifth time last Saturday and into Sunday morning, has become a staple in the Baldwin calendar. It has earned a space next to events like the annual fireworks show, Memorial Day and the wintertime holiday celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah.
Following a long and rainy Friday, the skies cleared for Relay day. In recent years the event has been forced into the Baldwin High School gym by rain, and relay co-chair MaryAnn Romano said being outside made a big difference. Romano, who co-chaired the relay with Jenn Scarduzio, said lighting the relay’s ceremonial candles inside was nice, but characterized the scene outdoors as breathtaking. “Mother Nature really came through for us this year. I can’t even say how moving it was,” Romano recalled.
The first event on a full slate was the survivor’s dinner, accompanied by inspirational words from speakers like
two-time cancer survivor Romano and Margaret Bernstein, who spoke about her aggressive approach to battling cancer. The Baldwin-based chorus Sweet Adelaide’s performed, as did a number of Baldwin High School students. Baldwin Girl Scout Troop 2174 from the Lenox and Brookside schools was on hand to pass out handmade crafts promoting a message of hope, and the Sweet Karma bakery donated a cake celebrating the additional birthdays cancer survivors will be able to enjoy.
Fed and inspired, the participants then headed outside to stride into the wee hours of the morning. More speakers and music accompanied the endurance portion of the event, and performers included Evan Greenberg (DJ enerG) and Cumulonimbus — a band made up of young Baldwinites. As is traditional, a survivors’ lap of the track was conducted to cheering and upbeat music to celebrate the joy of victory over cancer. A silent lap was also conducted in memory of lives lost.
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