At least six teams will be participating in this year's Relay for Life on Grand Manan, which begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 1, at Grand Manan Community School and ends the next morning at 7 a.m.
Three years ago, the first Relay for Life was held on the island after community school student Kerrin Green wanted to hold one in support of her classmate Dalton Brown, who had been diagnosed with leukemia.
"It was her community project in leadership class," explains Dalton's mother, Heather, who is captaining the Dalton's Cowtippers team this year. Since Dalton's diagnosis in July of 2009, he spent "quite a bit of time" at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Then part of the family had to move to Fredericton so Dalton could receive eight months of treatment at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital. "Now he just goes for chemo once a month and every third month for chemo and a spinal tap," says Heather Brown. "And in October of this year he'll be finished with the treatment."
The first year of the Relay for Life, Brown wanted his team to be named the Padres because his favorite baseball player, Matt Stairs, was playing for San Diego at that time. "When we were living in Fredericton, a highlight was when Matt visited him," recalls Heather. "Then Matt got traded to Washington, and Dalton didn't like that team's name, so the Relay for Life team name was changed to Dalton's Cowtippers last year. We really like the scene in the Pixar movie Cars where the tractors knock over the sleeping cows."
On a more serious note, she adds, "We're doing this in honor of some of Dalton's IWK buddies who passed away, and we're hoping to raise at least $3,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. For us, it's a celebration and a way to honor survivors."
The event will begin with a survivors' victory lap, and islanders are encouraged to buy a luminaria to honor a loved one. Funds from the relay will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition to Dalton's Cowtippers, other teams that have been busy raising money for the event include Jo's Geriatric Walkers, captained by Joanne Ingalls; Kelly Cove Salmonions, captained by Jennifer Hutchison; Mobile Bankers, captained by Christine Laffoley; No Sleeping 'Til We Find A Cure, captained by Kate Boyd; and Shoot for a Cure, captained by Amanda Sharpe. By mid-May the teams had already raised $4,942.60 online.
For more information, contact Nadine Shalala at 1-800-455-9090 or e-mail <email@example.com>.