Automotive Executive Howard Wilner Lists 5 Ways to Participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Natick, Marlboro and Attleboro, MA

Howard Wilner
4 min readMay 27, 2019
Howard Wilner Lists 5 Ways to Participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

According to statistics compiled by the American Cancer Society, the 2019 death rate from cancer in the U.S. plunged 27 percent from its peak in 1991, thanks in large part to advances in early detection and treatment, along with a steady decline in smoking. This translates into preventing 2.6 million deaths. What’s more, the 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined has climbed to 70 percent, which is a 41 percent jump from the early 1960s.

However, despite these major steps forward in the fight against cancer, there is still much more work to be done. In 2019, more than 1.7 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed, and about 606,000 people will die from cancer — including an estimated 1,190 children.

Commented Howard Wilner, an automotive executive who currently heads Marlboro, MA-based New England AutoMax, Inc., a prominent independent dealer of late-model foreign and domestic cars: “Every person in some way has, is, or will be impacted by a cancer diagnosis, whether it pertains to themselves, a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor. That is why the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Natick/Marlboro/Attleboro and around the world are so vital. It does not just change lives. In many cases, it saves them.”

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser that takes place in more than 5,200 communities around world in over 20 countries. The 2019 edition for participants, volunteers, donors and sponsors in Natick/Marlboro/Attleboro area are being held this June.

People can certainly participate for next month’s relay. The relay in Marlborough is happening on June 1, the relay in Natick is taking place on June 8 and Attleboro on June 14.

As for getting involved and helping make a positive difference in the lives of millions of people — and potentially their own — Howard Wilner highlighted five ways to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Natick/Marlboro/Attleboro, or anywhere else around the country or world where the event is held:

Join a Relay

People can head to the American Cancer Society’s website and search for a relay in their area. Searching can be done through city, state, zip code, event name, participant name, or team name. Once they identify a relay, they can either join an existing team, or create their own team and recruit participants. In addition, the American Cancer Society does a truly outstanding job of providing supporters and caregivers with special resources, activities and events, and recognizing their efforts and courage.

Create an Event

Companies, associations, schools, and other groups can host their own Relay for Life event. Sign-up only takes a few minutes online, and the process is handled by dedicated and trained American Cancer Society Volunteers. Commented Howard Wilner: “There are also excellent resources available that make the process straightforward and successful for organizers.”

Become a Volunteer

People who don’t necessarily want to participate in the relay itself can play a pivotal behind-the-scenes role by volunteering their time and talents. There are many opportunities available, including helping with logistics, registration, participant support, and being part of the Event Leadership team. Howard Wilner claims that volunteers are at the heart of Relay for Life, and they are a big reason why it is the most successful fundraising event in the world.

Make a Donation

Individuals, families, groups, and organizations can support essential patient programs and breakthrough research by donating to a specific Relay for Life team or event, or by donating directly to the American Cancer Society. All financial donations are tax deductible, and in-kind donations from sponsors are recognized at 50 percent of their retail value. In addition, organizations can match their employees’ Relay for Life contributions (dollar-for-dollar or any other percentage). Organizations who join the matching program get a listing in the American Cancer Society’s online registry. Finally, gifts as part of tax or estate planning are welcomed. Howard Wilner states that one of the most powerful sights at every Relay for Life are the Luminaria bags, which honor every life touched by cancer. They remind us that there is hope, even in darkness. The impact is very emotional and unforgettable.

Become a Sponsor

Companies and organizations can sponsor a Relay for Life team. Various sponsorship levels are available, including Presenting, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Signature. On-site sponsorship is also available for the stage, registration table, Luminaria table, and HOPE Luminaria. Relay for Life sponsors demonstrate community leadership and social responsibility, and they generate lasting goodwill.

The Bottom Line

Being part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Natick/Marlboro/Attleboro — or anywhere else across the U.S. or around the world — is a rewarding and inspiring experience, which helps explain why so many people make it an annual commitment instead of a one-time effort.

Concluded Howard Wilner: “It is a true testament to the vision and values of the American Cancer Society, and all of its amazing volunteers and supporters, that the event is called Relay for Life instead of Relay for Cancer Research. Obviously, while the goal is to raise funds for essential patient programs and breakthrough research, the focus is on extending and enhancing lives. That is why everyone who participates in the Relay for Life — joining a relay, creating an event, volunteering, donating, or sponsoring — should feel so proud. Beating cancer won’t happen overnight, and there is a of work left to be done. But one day it will happen; not by luck or accident, but because of the thousands and thousands of people who decided to make a difference and be part of the solution.”

For more information on Howard Wilner:



Howard Wilner

President of Automax Preowned in Framingham, Massachusetts.