Marching to the thundering beat of amplified rock music, several hundred supporters of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night event strode across the roadways at the Fairfield Hills core campus on Saturday, September 29, to both raise public awareness about blood cancer and to raise funds for medical research.
Participants gathered at twilight on the grassy expanse between Newtown Municipal Center and Newtown Youth Academy where a pair of disk jockeys on stage prepared the crowd for their nighttime walk on the campus’s road network.
The funds raised by such events are used for a variety of purposes, according to Kristen Angell, who is the Newtown coordinator for the Light The Night event.
“The Light The Night walk was [designed] to help raise much-needed funds and awareness about blood cancers, and to celebrate survivors, and remember those whose lives have been lost to cancer,” Ms Angell said in a statement.
“Each year, in communities all across the United States and Canada, teams of families, friends, co-workers, and local and national corporations, come together to raise funds for…LLS’s Light The Night walk events, and bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers,” she added.
Ms Angell said that the money raised by such events by teams and by individual walkers is used for cancer research; for educational materials and events for patients and their families; for local programs such as family support groups, and for a project known as First Connection, which is a peer-to-peer counseling program.
Also, funding is used for comprehensive, personalized assistance through the LLS’s Information Resource Center, she said.
Light The Night events are intended to be inspirational, she explained.
During the event, walkers carry illuminated balloons — white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold in memory of loved ones lost to blood cancer.
Ms Angell said that approximately 400 people attended the Newtown event. The pledges made for the event total about $60,500, she said. It was the fourth annual event held in Newtown.
Besides the September 29 event at Fairfield Hills, Light The Night walks in Connecticut are planned for: Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket on October 12, Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven on October 13, The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on October 25, and Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk on October 26.