Relay for Life Coastal Delaware striding into Camp Barnes

For its 100th birthday, the American Cancer Society is coming to the beach. The organization’s signature Relay for Life will make tracks May 10 with an overnight walk at Camp Barnes.

Relay for Life “celebrates, remembers and fights back,” supporting those who deal with cancer, remembering those lost and encouraging others to prevent illness. Organizer Josette Castiglione said each community event helps locals to be part of a bigger cause.

“We’ve all been touched by cancer in one way, shape or form, personally or knowing someone in the community,” said Castiglione.

Envisioning a world someday free from cancer, the nationwide American Cancer Society aims to help people celebrate more birthdays by preventing or treating cancer.

After having previously hosting the event in Millsboro, Relay for Life of Coastal Delaware is hoping to reinvigorate the walk, in which teams fundraise and walk relay-style for 12 hours, at Camp Barnes.

But first, they’re looking for a little help planning the event. Relay for Life is seeking interested people to join a new planning committee.

With at least 20 relays already hosted regionally (among thousands worldwide), the Delmarva Peninsula is no stranger to Relay for Life.

“We know what to do. We just need volunteers to do it,” said Susan Polikoff of the American Cancer Society. “We’re looking for ideas and volunteers.”

Several teams are already registered for the event in its new location, but Relay for Life of Coastal Delaware is still welcoming fresh ideas to grow the event in a new community.

“It’s nationwide and global,” Castiglione said of cancer awareness, “the importance of getting the community engaged and aware of what we can do in a big picture.”

Money raised goes toward national efforts, including research, medicine, prevention programs and support services.

One important program is the ACS hotline, linking people to answers and programs that help them understand and treat the disease. The Cancer Resource Network hotline is at (800) ACS-2345.

“You don’t have to be a cancer patient” to use the 24/7 hotline, Castiglione said, having dialed the number herself when she had questions about a friend’s cancer diagnosis.

Relays for Life are the most significant fundraiser for ACS, contributing around $400 million, or 80 percent, of its income annually.

“Our teams and our participants make this go round,” said Polikoff.

An information session is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at South Coastal Library. It will cover race-related topics, such as committees, sponsorships, relay team captains and more.

To get involved with planning Relay for Life of Coastal Delaware, contact Josette Castiglione at (302) 827-4936 or email Additional information can be found online at