Hundreds gather in East Hartford to fight against cancer

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EAST HARTFORD – The community gathered for a good cause: saving lives from cancer.

Cancer survivors, caregivers, volunteers and community members united in East Hartford for the eighth consecutive American Cancer Society Relay For Life on Saturday.

One woman battling cancer, Betty Merker, said this event helps her get life-saving treatments, and she is so grateful for everyone who participates.

“I’m just one face of the results of research dollars that have been raised here,” Merker said. “It’s important to all of us, that people attend events and that people contribute to American Cancer Society.”

Organizers say more than 500 people were expected to show up at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field for the event.

It included an eight-hour walk-a-thon fundraiser sponsored by United Technologies Corp. Other events include mini golf, music, face painting and family fun.

Vendors even sold clothes and food to give back to the cause.

Relay for Life is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community. Last year there were 6,000 events with about four million participants.

Money raised helps the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, provides free information and critical services for people diagnosed with cancer, and supports education and prevention programs.

In the past several years, the East Hartford Relay for Life raised more than $2.7 million, according to organizers, and the goal this year is to raise another $250,000.

If you’d like to donate, click here.

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