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Relay For Life begins Friday
PRINCESS PARTY -- These girls, in their best princess attire, attended a Princess Party recently at the American Legion, sponsored by the Great Memiers Misfitz & Cancer Crusaders Relay For Life team. They are shown having their hair done by Snow White (Kayla Pingree), Cinderella (Tessa Pingree) and Pocohontis (Jordan True). There were also crafts and games, nails and makeup done, a parade and a lunch. All proceeds went to the River Valley Relay For Life.
RUMFORD -- The 16th year of the River Valley Relay For Life will begin this Friday and extend into Saturday. It had been postponed from earlier in the month.
Among the events is a cut-a-thon to take place this Saturday.
Eight-year-old Paige Dyke has been growing out her hair since kindergarten. This Saturday, she's donating 10 inches of it to Wigs For Kids, and she's hoping others will follow suit.
Paige has been a lifetime member of Great Memere's Misfitz, which will hold first annual Relay Cut-a-Thon from 9-11 a.m. this Saturday at Hosmer Field.
Wigs For Kids is a non-profit organization that makes kids' wigs from real hair. Her goal is to get 20 names as it takes 10 donors to make one wig. There will be professional hair dressers there to shape and style the cuts. There is no charge for this service, but donations to the Relay For Life will be appreciated.
Paige's mom, Jennifer Dyke, said, "She is very excited to be able to spend the night at the field this year. She loves attending all of our fundraisers. Many kids her age are just there because their parents relay and it is something they have to do, or they see it as a fun place to play, but Paige has been working hard to raise money and help come up with fun new fundraisers this year."
As for how this idea got started, Jennifer said two years ago, her grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and "that is when what we do really sunk in and hit her. And she now proudly relays to honor her grandpapa."
She said Wigs For Kids gives children, with hair loss due to illness or injury, a wig, the stand to keep it on and supplies to take care of their wig free of charge.
"When Paige asked me if I was joining, I tried to explain that my hair was not very long and I would have a very short style, She blew me away when she said to me, 'And how much hair do you think those little kids have mom?' I felt horrible that my daughter was pointing out my vanity, after all it will grow back," said Jennifer.
Mother and daughter will sit beside each other as they donate a good deal of their hair to this cause.
"Paige went to many local salons asking for volunteers and we were met with great enthusiasm by many of the wonderful women she talked to," said Jennifer, adding that if anyone would like to participate in donating their hair, they need a minimum of 10 inches to cut off. She can be reached at 364-2613 of e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave a name and phone number and they will get in touch to get you a fundraising envelope. They are looking for a minimum of $15 raised in donations per hair donor to have their hair styled free.
The Relay For Life event begins at 4 p.m. with the survivor's reception registration, with the reception at 4:30. At 5:50 will be the presentation of the Shirley Comeau Memorial and the Courage Award.
The opening ceremony begins at 6, with a prayer, the national anthem, the area firefighters and the Knights of Columbus escorting the survivors on the first lap, then the teams will take to the track. “Tune Out Cancer” is this year's theme. Right before the survivors start their walk, their caregivers will place a medal on the individual to signify that this individual is a cancer survivor. Survivors, please make sure that you have a caregiver with you for this walk.
At 7 p.m. will be the Kids' Corner, hosted by Abbie's Avengers as well as the Team Spirit Parade. All the teams parade around the track with their banners and props in celebration of their participation of this worthwhile event. At 8:30 will be Teacher's Mafia. At 9:30 is the Luminary Ceremony, with the Blessing from Father Bob, with a performance by the majorettes. Luminary bags are placed around the track and are lit honoring survivors who have fought the battle of cancer and to loved ones who have lost their battle to cancer. The lights are turned off and the names are read from which the luminaries are dedicated to. This is a very emotional ceremony as family and friends gather to honor their loved ones.
On Saturday at 1 a.m., there will be a rollerblade parade, with a brownie sundae party at 1:30. There is a scavenger hunt at 2 and a pancake breakfast at 7 by Chefs Brian and Don, sponsored by the Rumford Hospital.
There will be kids' games at 8:30, organized by Tracy Glover of Abbie's Avengers, followed by donut on a string at 9. At 9:30, there will be smoothies by Cancer Control at the Friends & Family Forever tent site.
At 11, the Relay Ride For Life motorcycles will enter the Hosmer track. At 11:30 will be the drawings, with the event concluding at noon with a hole-in-one golf ball drop contest. Numbered balls will drop from high in the sky by a crane and the ball that drops into the hole will be the winner. The person who has the ball number that dropped into the hole, if present will win $1,000. If no ball drops into the hole, than the ball closest to the hole will be the winner and that person will win $500.
Relay For Life is a signature event for the American Cancer Society and all the proceeds of this event at Hosmer Field will stay in Oxford County to help our families and friends battling this disease.
For more information on how you can participate in this worth-while cause, contact Diane Mitchell at 364-8358, or Mac Watts at 1-800-464-3102 press 3.
If there is a weather advisory, contact the River Valley Relay For Life website for instructions/scheduling of new date.