ST. THOMAS — Approximately 100 people continued the fight against cancer on Saturday at the 2019 Relay For Life walk-a-thon in St. Thomas, according to a release issued Saturday. A cross section of government agencies, private entities, social groups and independent participants congregated at Yacht Haven Grande at 7:00 a.m. to show support for and memorialize friends and loved ones with cancer. Contributions garnered approximately $13,000, the release said.
The event kicked off with acknowledging survivors and testimonials, followed by a warm up exercise. The St. Thomas East End Medical Center Foundation cobranded a do-it-yourself model of the relay with the American Cancer Society. Designed as a 6K walk-a-thon loop between Yacht Haven Grande and the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center, sixteen teams were formed with over 90 registered participants including cancer survivors, according to the release.
Funds raised will be made available to cancer patients via the ACS grant routed through the nonprofit organization Cancer Support VI. A significant attribute of ACSUSVI was its ability to keep funding in the Virgin Islands for direct support of its residents.
The event was initially planned for Saturday, October 20, 2018, but was postponed to January 26. Members of the foundation’s board and the event planning committee decided an extension provided participants an opportunity to build more teams and meet fundraising goals.
Relay for Life was adopted by the medical center’s foundation after the American Cancer Society of the U.S. Virgin Islands suspended its operations in 2017. Organizing the popular annual event presented an opportunity for the foundation to meet an overarching need for support of cancer patients in the territory and a continuity of raising awareness and soliciting public support, the release concluded.