Today’s news:

Plans for Relay For Life against cancer coming along

For the past two years, the American Cancer Society has held a Relay For Life in Cunningham Park in June. This year, the relay will be along 73rd Avenue between the Clearview Expressway and Francis Lewis Boulevard June 6−7.

The kick−off celebration, to honor those who have died or are still fighting cancer, was held on Feb. 23 in the Queens Dental Society Building on 188th Street in Jamaica Estates. The participants were mostly women who were either fighting cancer or had family or friends afflicted by cancer. Women told their stories or remembered family or friends.

The aim of the meeting was to prepare for the Cunningham Park relay. Their way of fighting cancer and remembering is to set up teams of friends, family or co−workers to take turns walking around the encampment, to be on the west of the comfort station on the south side of 73rd Avenue near Francis Lewis Boulevard. Each team will consist of 10 to 15 members and each member is supposed to raise $100 to support cancer education and research.

Tents will shelter team members, refreshments will be plentiful, there will be lights, entertainment, music and fun, and the 107th Precinct and a volunteer ambulance will be present.

Most of the people at the kickoff had participated in the past, but various speakers motivated newcomers.

Angela Alvarez−Davis said she is a survivor of a mixed brain tumor. A tingling feeling in her arm alerted her to a problem, but it took a while until she was finally diagnosed. Today she is healthy, energetic and captain of the Silver Mariposas Team, translated as “butterflies.” She said survivors are invited to take a victory lap at 5 p.m. June 6 to celebrate a courageous battle.

Vicki Konkowski explained about the Luminaria Ceremony. A luminaria is a white paper bag with sand inside it to weigh it down and with a lighted candle placed on top of the sand. Each luminaria has written on it the name of the person it is dedicated to who has either died from or is still fighting cancer.

The luminaria will be placed around the encampment and at 10 p.m. June 6 they will be lit to form a lighted path which the walkers can follow. The luminarias are kept burning throughout the night. People donate $10 for each luminaria.

Teams or groups who raise or donate larger amounts of money have their names placed on the Wall of Hope on a banner supplied by the ACS. T−shirts, key rings and other items are sold to raise money. Survivors receive a special T−shirt. Special sheets are available to explain to new team captains what they can do to create team spirit. Other sheets explain how tents can be decorated and money can be raised.

Future relay meetings will take place at the Dental Society building April 1, April 29 and May 27 at 7 p.m. Set−up for the June 6 Relay For Life begins at 12 p.m. Registration will be at 3:30 p.m. The opening ceremony and Survivors Lap will be at 5 p.m., the Luminaria Ceremony at 10 p.m. The closing ceremony will be June 7 at 8 a.m. Clean−up ends at 11 a.m. Food will be available.

For more information or to register, call Taliah Duchatelier at 718−263−2225 Ext. 551.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: People have to be careful because more people seem to commit crimes when the economy is bad. Two criminals can dress as utility workers and gain entry into a house. While one criminal keeps the owner busy, the other goes upstairs and steals money and jewelry.

If someone comes to your door and you have not been expecting them, do not let them in unless they have valid identification and an official vehicle is parked outside.

Some schemers say they can get you lower utility rates, then ask to see your bill and copy information from your bill and switch you to another provider. They are paid for the number of people switched to the other provider. Predators are saying they can fix your foreclosure problems, but they just take your money. Local legislators or Community Board 8 can help you find a government agency that can help you.

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