Relay for Life

Mike Wright and Bill Hoban, cancer survivors, carried the banner during the opening lap dedicated to survivors at the Relay for Life of Susquehanna Valley.

$75,000 fundraising goal

LEWISBURG — Tents, stands and a makeshift stage dotted the infield for the second Relay for Life of the Susquehanna Valley.

The goal of the event was to raise $75,000 for the American Cancer Society. It was the second Relay to combine the efforts of Lewisburg, Milton and Selinsgrove relays.

Marguerite Santorine, co-chair from Lewisburg, called the event a block party.

“We’re here to celebrate you, survivors and caregivers,” Santorine told the crowd. “That’s what’s most important in Relay for Life.”

Santorine said money raised goes to research, education and other American Cancer Society programs such as rides to chemotherapy or other treatments. She noted while more than 50 Relays were being held on the same date in the northeast, fundraising really goes on year-round.

Jen Bernstein and Wayne Heddings, co-chairs from Selinsgrove and Milton respectively, also shared thoughts on survivorship.

Community help for the Relay came from many sources, including the Lewisburg Area High School wrestling team. Justin Michaels, head coach, brought some of his athletes and coaching assistants as they prepared the luminaria which would soon light the track.

Michaels thanked his coaching predecessors, Jim Snyder and Dr. Michael Brown, for starting the tradition of helping out.

“It was just something they instilled into the program,” Michaels said. “We’re just picking it up and continuing it, giving back to the community.”

Shortly after the national anthem was sung by Emily Alico, a Lewisburg Area High School senior, and Boy Scout Troop 538 raised the flag, the first lap rounded the track with survivors and caregivers. Teams kept the action going until midnight.

Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at

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