NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The American Cancer Society’s signature event designed to raise money and promote cancer awareness kicked off this Tuesday evening.

The first relay for life event at smith vocational and agricultural school in Northampton offered information to get the annual campaign started. The event began with a survivor celebration that honored more than 100 people who beat the deadly disease.

The goal this year is to have 500 participants take part on more than 40 teams to raise $50,000.
Donna’s Darlings is one team named after someone who lost her battle with cancer.

“There are times when we feel she is watching us at this event, yeah she’s there. This event, it’s touched our family in a lot of ways,” said Tom McCuskear, Event leadership volunteer with Hampshire County Relay For Life.

Since 1997, Relay For Life has raised more than $5 million for the American Cancer Society, which provides research, assistance programs, and a 24/7 hotline for cancer information.