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Mohon mobilizes against cancer

Many people have been affected by cancer at some point in their lives, whether the diagnosis is for them or a loved one. On Friday, May 1, community members from across Rotterdam gathered at the Mohonasen Central School District to participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life to join in the fight against cancer.

We had a lot of people who camped out and stayed right until the morning, said Joe Salamone, a Mohonasen Central School District Board of Education member and participant in the relay.

During the overnight event, teams of people take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team must have a member on the track or path at all times, which could be up to 24 hours long. These teams also raise money to help find a cure for cancer and raise awareness.

"We were awake the entire time, until 7:30 in the morning," said Salamone of his team, which consisted of about 12 members " all family and friends. Salamone's team, M.O.M.'s Miracles, which was formed by the family and friends of those of the Marshall, O'Neill and Malloy families (all of whom were affected by cancer in some way) raised $980, according to the team's Web site, and are still going.

The entire event was organized by Mackensie Bullinger, assistant principal for Mohonasen High School. She was approached by a parent of the district whose child was a cancer survivor who asked if it might be something that the district is interested in.

"I knew the Mohonasen community would definitely be interested in it," said Bullinger. "It was very similar in my perspective to a family barbecue where you have people from all different avenues of life come together for one positive cause, so it was a great bonding experience."

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