By Mary Heyl

On Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., hundreds of individuals will gather together for our area’s Relay for Life, an annual global fundraising event for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

This year, the Relay for Life event has moved from Ellicottville Central School to the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds in Little Valley, and it promises to be a bigger event than ever.

Relay for Life of the Fairgrounds will be able to include even more participants who look forward to this important event every year. Participating communities now include Cattaraugus, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Gowanda, Little Valley, Perrysburg, Randolph, Salamanca, Springville, West Valley, and every community in between.

Relay begins at the fairgrounds at 11 a.m. with the Opening Ceremony that kicks off a full day of activities. Although participants walk throughout the day, some laps are designated for those who have been affected by cancer directly or indirectly, such as the Survivor’s Lap and the Caregiver’s Lap. Toward the end of the night, a Luminaria Ceremony honors loved ones lost to cancer and those currently battling the disease.

The public is invited to stop by Relay to participate in the on-site fundraising activities and barbecues that will help raise money for the ACS. To date, the fourteen teams and 87 participants of Relay for Life of the Fairgrounds have raised almost $20,000 through various fundraisers this spring, including a Cabin Fever dance, Boot Drive, and a Cruise Against Cancer Car and Craft Show. Even if you aren’t able to attend the event, donations can be made online at

There’s still time to sign up your team for Relay for Life! Contact Heather Morris, Community Manager of Relay for Life for both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties at (716) 397-8614 or For up-to-date information about the progress of Relay for Life of the Fairgrounds, check out their Facebook page or visit