Mountaintop Relay For Life Approaching $ Million Mark
Regina Kloeker

The Mountaintop Relay for Life is coming up quickly and it is “all hands on deck” to reach the million dollar mark for money raised in the fifteen years there has been a Relay on the mountain.

Event leader Regina Kloeker has been helping to coordinate the Relay for the last four years and says that the team had anticipated reaching the milestone last summer, but fell about 25 thousand dollars short. She relates that many cancer survivors who have been involved with Relay from its inception are excited and determined to raise the money for the American Cancer Society.

“They’ve been involved for so long and while they know that the money has worked for them, they want to see it through for others, says Regina.

This year’s theme for the Relay is “Board Games”. Each team that enters the Relay will host a tent space that will use, as its theme, a board game of their choosing. Each team will also have a “mission” to provide awareness about a specific type of cancer. Regina explains that there are many types of cancers that can affect people, such as brain, lung, skin or pancreatic cancer.

“Everybody is touched by cancer in some way shape or form,” says Regina who has been affected by both brain and kidney cancer in her own family.

There are several upcoming fundraisers that will go toward the fundraising efforts for the Relay. Using a theme of the popular game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, Regina’s team is coordinating a Spaghetti Dinner Sunday January 24 from 11 a. m. -3:30 p. m. at Crestwood High School. Patrons can eat in or takeout. Luminaria sales and basket raffles will be also featured at the dinner. There is also a lottery calendar sale coming up for the month of February with returns of $25 during a weekday, $50 for a weekend and $100 if you hit your daily number on Valentine’s Day!

Another fundraiser that has grown very popular over the eight years of its inception is “Hoops for Hope”, tentatively scheduled this year for March 15. Cancer survivor and Crestwood graduate, Luke Modrovsky and his mom, Suzanne, are co-chairs for the local event that features friendly basketball competition among local school faculty, MYBL players and coaches, community police officers and the seniors of Crestwood High School. Luke is the inspiration for the Relay on the mountain, having been affected by cancer when he was an infant.

If you cannot make it to any of the upcoming events and still want to help, Regina encourages anyone to form a team for the Relay and organize your own fundraisers. There are already 6 teams registered and there is no deadline to participate in the May 24 event.

Regina also encourages folks to attend, even if they are not on a team. There will be vendors, games and music along with the team tents, and the concession stand will be open, with everything priced at one dollar. Regina notes that sponsorships are also needed for the event, and are a great way to advertise a business with a sign around the track or on the school lawn, as well as do some good in the process.

“We welcome survivors, caregivers, youth groups, volunteer organizations -anybody who just wants to help,” says Regina. “We have had wonderful sponsors in the past, and we thank them and any new businesses looking to help.”

While she acknowledges that a million dollars is a lot of money to raise, Regina points to the many people in our community who have been helped in numerous ways by the American Cancer Society; not just by institutional research, but by practical services such as wig making, appointment transportation, babysitting, gas cards and other avenues. Regina herself was able to stay at Hope Lodge free of charge while her mother was undergoing treatment at Hershey Medical Center.

“Cancer is a very costly illness,” says Regina. “The relay is just near and dear to my heart. Once I joined, I saw the benefits by being a part of the relay. We really want people to get involved and help us make this the million dollar year.”

Meeting the goal does not mean, however, an end to the relay on the mountain.

“We see people all the time who have been affected by cancer and we are doing all we can to benefit those individuals. We are not going to stop even after we make the million.”

Anyone who is interested in being a part of the Relay can contact Regina at 570-417-4047. Spaghetti Dinner tickets can be purchased either in advance through Sandy Raduta 570-574-3616 or Laura Drasher 570-401-1489 or at the door. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for Children ages 7-12, and children 6 and under are free. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society