Volunteers and cancer survivors took to the track at St. Croix Educational Complex this weekend to celebrate hope, taking part in the 17th annual Relay for Life, a major fundraiser for the U.S. Virgin Islands American Cancer Society Relay.
“Celebrating Hope V.I. Style” was the theme of the event, which began at 4 p.m. Saturday and concluded at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Dona Browne Jones has been volunteering with the American Cancer Society for 12 years and is in her third year at the helm of the Relay for Life.
“Relay for Life is our number one fundraiser, said Browne Jones. “We hold this event in May of every year, but because of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we decided not to do it this year. … There were so many cries from the community asking that we continue, we listened and this relay was planned in one month and 12 days.”
The offices of the American Cancer Society are closed due to hurricane related damages.
“We had to make a decision,” said Browne Jones. “We could start over in a new space with new employees to help our patients, or we could use that money and still support our patients and do the Relay for Life,” she said.
“We have 16 teams this year. Each team pays a registration fee and must raise a monetary minimum as a commitment fee to our patients,” she said.
“The community has been awesome with their generosity. We could not have done it without them,” she said.