Relay for Life set for June 4 at Cochran Park

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | North Fork cancer survivors walk in the 2007 Relay for Life.

The countdown is under way for the sixth annual Relay for Life at Jean Cochran Park in Peconic on June 4, and hundreds of people have been working for months to organize the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Southold is festooned with purple ribbons, pennants and flags. “Purple is for prevention,” said Melina Angelson, an event spokesman. “Prevention may be the cure.”

While Relay for Life’s main purpose is to generate funds for research, it’s more important to educate people about steps they can take to help prevent cancer, she added.

More than 700 people turned out for last June’s Relay for Life and organizers expect to surpass that number next month.

Although the tight economy resulted in a slight decline in money raised in 2010 — $157,860 compared to $158,608 the previous year — Ms. Angelson is hoping the beginning of the recovery will help reverse that trend.

Some groups have been holding their own mini-fundraisers throughout the year. To increasing the take from a cut-a-thon at Hair Experience in Mattituck, stylists there donated their tips to the cause, Ms. Angelson said. And on May 1, Cutchogue Fire Department team members ran a Dove chocolate tasting at the firehouse, inviting residents to enjoy a sweet treat while purchasing tickets for a 50-50 raffle to benefit the relay.

On May 21, firefighters will hold a yard and bake sale at the firehouse on New Suffolk Road, beginning at 7 a.m. Other fire departments are also participating and Southold firefighters will be barbecuing at the relay, Ms. Angelson said.

Musicians for a Cure will present a concert at the Southold American Legion Post on Saturday, May 21, from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 each. All performers are donating their time.

In April, Suffolk County National Bank’s “Banking on a Cure” program hosted a “pampered chef” fundraiser. SCNB and Bridgehampton National Bank continue to be  big contributors, Ms. Angelson said.

It’s not too late to register to be part of the overnight event; just visit

Can’t commit to an overnight stay? There’s also the 9:30 p.m. luminaria ceremony celebrating the lives of cancer victims. Or the survivors lap, a walk around the track by cancer survivors, which Ms. Angelson described as “very moving.”

Live bands will perform throughout the evening until about midnight, when a DJ from Dynamic Beat Entertainment will take over with more mellow music. That’s a bow to neighbors around the park, who have been very patient in past years about the all-night band music that has, no doubt, interrupted their sleep, Ms. Angelson said.

For the hearty, Sonomi of Fitness Advantage will be lead a morning wake-up exercise program at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5. .
Porto Bello Restaurant is hosting this year’s Survivors Dinner on Saturday and Harbourfront Deli will contribute bagels for Sunday morning’s breakfast.

Because this year’s Relay for Life theme is a carnival, Greenport Junior-Senior High School principal Len Skuggevik has volunteered to sit above a dunk tank, giving those who pay the price a chance to toss him into a pool of water.

There will also be a petting zoo on site and Floyd Memorial Library children’s librarian Joe Cortale will read bedtime stories to participating children. Various groups will be offering games at their booths.

Show up once and you’ll be hooked, Ms. Angelson said.

Need a purple ribbon for your door? Ivy League Florist in Southold and Mattituck Florist and Garden Shop can provide you with one. Suffolk County National Bank in Cutchogue has pennants available.

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