Wareham hosts combined Relay For Life events

By Meghan Neely | Jun 23, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely Young members of team Kaleidoscope Kickin' Cancer take their first lap around the Wareham Middle School track.

The Wareham and Plymouth Relay For Life events joined forces this year in the fight against cancer.

A total of 30 teams registered to walk the track at Wareham Middle School on Saturday, July 23, in what Community Organizer Susie Frost said was one of the town's biggest turnouts to date.

"Even with the rain, people are still coming in," Frost said during the event. "I'm so impressed by their determination."

The consolidation of the two events was suggested by the American Cancer Society, which sponsors Relay For Life, and is part of an effort to have larger events in fewer towns.

According the Frost, teams have spent the majority of the year fundrasing for the Relay.

"People do car washes, bake sales and anything else they can think of to get people involved," Frost said. "The Relay is a celebration of all that hard work with music and games."

Funds raised by the teams help the American Cancer Society provide support for people with the disease and pay for cancer research.

Marie Pimental, an ovarian cancer survivor, said she was very impressed with the research Relay For Life had helped to sponsor. Her team, Close The Book On Cancer, has participated in the event for 22 years.

"It really makes a difference," Pimental said. "Cancer doesn't discriminate."

Inside the Survivor's Tent, YMCA Senior Program Wellness Director Lu Brito handed out information about the Y's LiveStrong Program, a free 12-week fitness series for adult cancer survivors.

"Cancer takes a huge physical toll on the body," Brito said. "We want to help people to stay active and take care of themselves."

According to Brito, the LiveStrong Program has also helped survivors find a support system through the YMCA.

"It made such a huge difference," said Karen Butler.

Butler had joined the LiveStrong Program after moving to Wareham from Virginia.

"I didn't know anybody," Butler said. "But the Y helped me to feel like I wasn't alone."

Butler now works at the YMCA helping other survivors through the LiveStrong Program.

"She's probably the most passionate LiveStrong graduate out there," Brito.

Teams also set up tents to continue fundraising efforts on the field.

Nora Bicki, a survivor and member of team DKG and Friends, sold everything from buttons to glow sticks.

"I come out here every year," Bicki said. "It's the right thing to do."

Members of the PFC Edward A. Ribeiro Post No. 40 stand at attention during the National Anthem. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
Plymouth Boy Scout Troop 1620 leads the Relay in it's first lap around the track. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
Teams pose for a group picture before the start of the Relay for Life. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
Nora Bicki (left) and Kathy Gleason (right) show off their wares at the DKG and Friends tent. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
Luminary bags spelling out the word "hope" decorate the bleachers at Wareham Middle School. (Photo by: Meghan Neely)
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