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Relay for Life of Schuylkill County Returning After 2 Year Absence

American Cancer Society fundraiser moving to Bubeck Park in Schuylkill Haven.

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is returning to Schuylkill County this year after a two-year absence.

Organizers announced their plans this week to hold the popular fundraiser on June 15. This year’s Relay for Life of Schuylkill County will have a new home, too, Bubeck Park in Schuylkill Haven.

Relay for Life Event Lead Trysha Nettles tells The Canary the goal for this year’s event is mostly to renew awareness but organizers also want to raise plenty of money to help in the fight against cancer, a disease that affects so many here in Schuylkill County, either directly or indirectly.

“We just want to get it built back up,” Nettles says. “We’re trying to start from scratch.”

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Relay for Life of Schuylkill County Making a Comeback

The last time a Relay for Life of Schuylkill County event was held was in 2021 and it was at its familiar home, Pottsville Area High School.

But a unique opportunity presented itself this year as organizers sought to revive the event. Schuylkill Haven Recreation Dept. offered up Bubeck Park, and all its amenities, at no charge.

“Schuylkill Haven isn’t charging us a penny,” Nettles says. “It was amazing. I live in Schuylkill Haven and thought maybe I’ll get a little discount. We were very surprised and very grateful for sure.”

The free venue allows more of the donations collected for Relay for Life to be given to the cause. In its return, organizers have a modest but ambitious goal to raise $50,000.

In the past, the Relay for Life events in Pottsville could raise more than $100,000 in a year.

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Nettles knows it’ll take some time to get back to that level of fundraising but is happy that this year’s Relay for Life is already off to a good start.

So far, $17,870.50 has been raised toward that $50,000 goal. Much of that has come from Hydro, she says.

“They’ve gotten us off to a pretty good start, Nettles says.

The next steps toward getting Relay for Life back to what it once was is getting more people involved.

Nettles explains that she and her team are trying to line up more corporate sponsors and teams that can really help drive fundraising totals higher.

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And, of course, she’s reaching out to survivors.

“A big part of the Relay for Life is having the survivors there,” she says.

Relay for Life is Personal

This is the 29th Relay for Life of Schuylkill County. And it’ll be the 12th in which Nettles serves as Event Lead or plays a critical role in organizing it.

For her, like so many others in Schuylkill County, the reason she gets so involved in the cause to end cancer is personal.

It was 18 years ago, she says, when her father died of lung and kidney cancers at just 48 years old.

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“It pushes me further and further into this,” Nettles says.

Relay for Life Event Details

The 2024 Relay for Life of Schuylkill County will take place on June 15, starting at 1 p.m. It’ll run until dusk.

At about 8:30 that night, a Luminaria program will be held to honor those who’ve succumbed to cancer. Caregivers will also be honored at this year’s event.

During the day, vendors and food trucks are planned at Bubeck Park. A DJ and possibly a band or two will provide entertainment.

Nettles says event organizers are actively looking for cancer survivors to honor at this year’s Relay for Life as well as teams and volunteers to participate.

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More information about this year’s Relay for Life, including about how to purchase a Luminaria, can be found at the event’s website ( or at the Relay for Life Facebook Page.

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