Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beverly Children Join Relay for Life at Endicott College


By Alyssa M. Baxter
Gordon College News Service
March 30, 2011
(This story appeared March 31 in The Boston Globe, Beverly and April 1 in The Salem News.)

The students of Saint Mary School are taking a break in their day to walk for a life-changing cause. This Friday, April 1st, they will walk in a mini-relay in the fight against cancer to support the American Cancer Society.

On the same day as Endicott’s Relay for Life about 180 students will walk around the streets of their school from 1-2 P.M. to raise money  and awareness. Family and friends sponsored students for each block they walk explained, Brenda Nygren, a mother to a fourth grader at Saint Mary School on 13 Chapman Street.

“The thing I love is it brings meaning to the kids,” said Nygren, who lost her own mother to cancer 11 years go and is the team leader for the Saint Mary School event. “It is an incredible cause.”

$3,000 has already been raised, which does not include the children’s sponsor donations and has not yet been contributed to the money raised through Relay for Life.
Saint Mary’s student council also unanimously voted to donate the proceeds, totaling $175, from one of their events to the American Cancer Society.

“Endicott was so intrigued, they are bringing cupcakes over for the kids,” said Nygren, who also said many of the students will be attending the Relay for Life later in the day at the college.

“It is never too early to have your kids become community servants,” said Nygren.

The Relay for Life at Endicott College at 376 Hale Street in Beverly will begin on Friday, April 1st at 5 P.M. until 5 A.M. the next morning to create awareness and raise funds for cancer research, patient services and cancer-related programs.

The 42 teams and 392 individuals have already raised $28,865.35, just over their goal of $28,000 as of 5:30 P.M. Wednesday, just two days before the twelve- hour event.

Throughout the night, events themed around the four seasons will entertain participants as they collaborate to remember and honor loved ones, fight alongside those battling cancer, and celebrate with survivors. However, at all times a member of their team will be walking around the track, said Lauri Rawls, who is in her third year as Director of Community Service at Endicott College and a co-organizer of the event.

Special events throughout the night include, a snow ball fight with dodge balls at 8 P.M., an Easter egg hunt with the eggs wrapped in cancer facts at 10 P.M., a huge Twister game in the summer at 1 A.M. and a first day of school relay as well as sunrise yoga or wiffle ball in the lower gym at 3 A.M. Food will be provided throughout the night, donated by numerous local businesses, such as: Panera at 57 Dodge Street, Prides Pizza, Maria’s Pizza and Quiznos at 45 Enon Street among many others.

There will also be a survivor lap, survivor’s reception and  a Luminaria ceremony to remember a loved one.

“We are all touched by cancer in some way, some how. We all know someone,” said Rawls. “It’s a great opportunity to come together to raise a level of awareness. It just hits home.”

In order to involve all ages in the fight against cancer, Endicott will be including a “Kids Care” program from 3:30-4:45 P.M. including crafts, dress up, Blinkee the Clown, and a barbeque.

Registrations will continue until the start of the night for Relay for Life. “Kids Care” registrations will be at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. For more information on Relay for Life or how to get involved, visit www.relayforlife.com/endicottcollege or call the Community Service Office of Endicott College at 978-232-224.

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