Mar 252013

Relay For Life PigAnyone who is interested in joining the Bethany-Orange-Woodbridge (BOW) Relay For Life Fundraising effort this year is invited to attend the second meeting tonight at High Plains Community Center at 7 p.m.

The Kick-Off meeting took place at Orange Hill Country Club on March 10.

There were many new faces, which was refreshing and there was a good amount of adults who received the message that the Relay is not just a student event. (For several years, Amity residents had the impression that the Relay was geared toward teens because many of the volunteers were under the age of 20.)

The Purpose of the March 10 meeting was to offer information about the 2013 Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society Fundraiser to bring in money to help find a cure for cancer. The local theme is “We’ll Stop Walking When Pigs Fly.”

The national theme this year is “Dream Big Hope Big Relay Big — There are No Boundaries.”

Humble Beginnings

In 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon in Tacoma Washington wanted to raise awareness about cancer. So he collected pledge money from friends and family and walked and ran 83 miles in 24 hours, raising $27,000.

Dr. Klatt and a woman named Pat Flynn developed the team idea which is what we now know as the Relay for Life.

Debby Davis started the first BOW Relay For Life at High Plains in 1999.

Last Year’s Relay

As so many will recall, 2012 was a rocky year for the Relay. Storms set the event back several weeks and it was scheduled in April (Very early for an overnight event) It was cold and windy, yet everyone involved sucked it up and rode it out, slept inside High Plains Community Center, and raised a total of $91,000.

In 2012 there were 641 participants; 67 teams; The average person raised $128; the average team raised $1,259.

The top three teams were NuVita & Friends; JAWA’s Boob Crew; and #1 money earning team was We Can(Cer) with a total of $5,667.70

According to Co-Chairman Lynn Plaskowitz, the top student team really pushed themselves to the limit, fundraising outside of Stop & Shop and so much more.

The top 5 individual money earners were Amanda Hudson; George Geane; Mikaila Schmitt; Dinamarie McCarthy and #1 Angela Booth and her Boob Crew, earning $4,061.00.

Cancer survivors at the meeting received pins, and in case anyone didn’t realize it the definition of “caregiver” was clarified.  A Caregiver is anyone who helps a cancer patient – be he or she a spouse or a driver or companion while the person is sick — even if your patient (or loved one) passes away, YOU are still a caregiver.

This Year’s Relay

The 2013 BOW Relay for Life takes place at the Orange Fairgrounds beginning at 2 p.m. (Opening cermonies are at 5 p.m.) on June 1  and ending at 7 a.m. on  June 2.  This year’s goal is $95,000.

There are four different T-Shirt colors this year. Purple is for survivors; Orange is for Committee members, captains wear green and participants receive white t-shirts.

New this year, the $10 registration fee counts toward your fundraising goal as so luminaria sales.

To promote a quick, healthy competition, money will be entered into the Convio through the ACS website. everyone will be able to see how everyone else is coming along in their fundraising efforts.

For Amity High School Students,, the bulletin board near the weight room will have these numbers posted for everyone’s convenience.

The deadline to submit the $100 minimum team member fundraising amount and receive a T-shirt is Monday, April 29. Also, the Relay is challenging leaders to have at least 13 members on each team.

Helping Cancer Patients

Money raised during the Relays funds 290 research grants and provides support for about 90,000 cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment with the free patient navigator program. Navigator provides free information and assistance around the clock. One million people called for help and support last year, and free transportation was given to one million cancer patients and their caregivers.

The American Cancer Society will announce the names of five teams in New England who will receive incentives such as camp chairs, a sleeping bag or 10 x 10 Tent through a new initiative geared to motivate teams to raise the most money for their respective Relays.

BOW Area Initiatives

Online programs have been introduced to make things easier for the Relay Chairpersons and participants this year. Online registration saves on paperwork and gives both the Team Captain and the organizers an immediate record of how many people are involved in the BOW Relay.

Amity High School students will be needed to assist in the Orange Elementary School “Relay for Recess” on May 7, during which school children will participate in a mini-Relay for a $20 donation to the American Cancer Society.

Relay Corporate and Business sponsors are being sought and recruitment of sponsors will count toward a participants fundraising goal. Tiki torches will be placed by the gazebo with the name of the person whose memory it is dedicated and the company that donates $50. (For graphics to be completed please donate by April 29) Sponsor Names will appear on the back of the T-shirts.

At only $5, the Luminaria Bags are so popular that advance sales are encouraged. White bags, which can be decorated by the purchaser, will be anchored with sand and illuminated by a votive candle during the very moving luminaria memorial service after dark. Any team member who sells these in advance will have that money put toward their fundraising goal.

The three co-chairmen are reaching out to adults to participate in this year’s Relay. It is important to remember that this is not the Orange Relay, but the BOW Relay for Life, which means it also belongs to Bethany and Woodbridge.

You do not have to stay overnight, but everyone is asked to come, participate and especially attend the Luminaria Ceremony on June 1.

Parents be aware that your children will not be running around wild all night. For every five teen team members there will be one chaperone (age 25 and older), Police and CERT will be on scene to ensure safety.

Publicizing Fundraisers

Team Captains, if you are planning a fundraiser, contact Orangectlive.com at orangectlive01@gmail.com, through facebook at Orange Live or by phone at 203-506-1747 and I will post it for you at no charge and frequently until the event.

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