Relay for Life of the Anthracite Region


Relay for Life of the Anthracite Region will celebrate with a “Block Party on the Hill” on Saturday, May 11th from 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. at Tamaqua Area High School Stadium.  The event is open to the public and pays tribute to those fighting the battle of cancer while remembering those who have lost.  This is the 26th year for the event that had a change of name to reflect the Anthracite Region and the towns that comprise it.  Admission is free.

“There are so many facets to this event throughout the day.  We have entertainment from ToolShed Jack Acoustic, Venessa Vicosa, and Rodney Clouser and daughter Skyy Clouser, along with games/rides from Gombert Family Games, Psychic Medium Kimberly will be doing readings and a Pound demonstration from Steph Gensure from the Tamaqua YMCA. There are basket raffles, a food stand run by St. Luke’s Miners Campus, and DJ Kristin spinning tunes along with karaoke, not to mention the individual fundraisers being held at each tent site by team members. Local personalities RC from T-102 and Polka Joe Manjack & Ann Marie Calabrese from Magic 105.5 WMGH will also be on hand. We invite the public to bring their family or just themselves to come and enjoy the day, “stated Co-Chairperson, Lori Kane.

The Cancer Survivors Ceremony is at 6 p.m. and welcomes all Cancer Survivors to come participate along with their caregivers.  Pastor Cindy White will serve as the guest speaker and Jim Thorpe High School sophomore Sophia Samoleski will sing.  Tamaqua Elementary students will sign a banner during their Olympic Day with messages of hope that will be carried by the survivors during the event. Tamaqua Elementary conducts their own Mini Relay for Life during their Olympic Day activities.

Two time Cancer Survivor and Co-Chair Danelle Ligenza Kane remarks about the significance of the Cancer Survivors Ceremony.  “The Cancer Survivor Ceremony is a very important part of the Relay for Life for many people, and not only the survivors.  It is a time to celebrate the people that have fought the cancer fight and have won.  Prior to my diagnosis, I looked forward to the ceremony to honor the people that have faced so much pain and sickness.  I wanted them to know that it was all worth it!!!  They are loved by so many. As a two time cancer survivor, I now look forward to the ceremony for different reasons.  It is comforting to be surrounded by people that know first hand what I have gone through both physically and mentally.   Cancer, like many other diseases, is not easy to deal with.  The survivors should be proud of making it through the darkness of Cancer, and enjoy the light on the other side.”

The other signature event is the Luminaria Ceremony where people purchase luminarias in honor or in memory of someone who has been affected by cancer. The candles in the luminaria bags are lit and placed around the perimeter of the track.  The ceremony, which begins at 8:30 p.m., will feature guest speaker Olivia Wolfe, a student at Jim Thorpe High School who lost her brother Hunter Wolfe to cancer, while Leilani Chesonis will share her vocal talent.

In addition to all of the events planned, Lori Kane shared another incentive.

“In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, Petal Pushers will be giving out carnations to the first 100 women celebrating Mother’s Day and also new this year, we will be giving away a $50/$100 VISA gift card thanks to our generous sponsors Hidden River Credit Union, Paul Wandzilak Home Improvements and Tamaqua Salvation Army. While you  must be present to win, we will start with new entries each hour so if you are there for the entire event, you have 12 chances to win. We just want people to come out and help those affected by this horrible disease move through their process.”

For a complete listing of times for events, please log onto and Click on Relay for Life or check out the Facebook page “Relay for Life of the Anthracite Region”.

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