If a helicopter were flying over at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday nights, its passengers would have seen something unusual. They would have looked over a track dotted with more than 1,000 candles, each inside its own small white paper bag, and people solemnly marching around them.
Those marching were taking part in The Memory Lap at the , which was silently underway, in memory of people whose names decorated the paper bags.
Just before, the crowd at Relay for Life had assembled at the stage as , the organizer from the American Cancer Society for Nassau County, spoke about his wife’s battle with cancer.
“We are here tonight to fight back for them,” Gruol said. “I was very fortunate to have a wife who battled for 11-and-a-half years. She gave my daughters eleven birthdays. They used to call her the ultimate warrior, because she never gave up, right to the end.”
Elizabeth Kouvaras, hugging her seven-year-old son Aggie to her side, spoke about her Aggie’s battle with cancer. He has been cancer-free for one year.
Each candle represents a loved one such as these, who has been affected by cancer.
“I think it’s a really beautiful thing that Relay for Life does, and I’m really glad that I’m here to see it,” said Jocelyn Harnick, a volunteer at the event.