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Survivors, Caregivers Invited To Free Relay Ice Cream Social

While Newtown’s 10th Anniversary Relay for Life has been postponed to 2014, organizers felt strongly about honoring all local cancer survivors and caregivers this year. So Relay organizers and volunteers invite all local survivors and caregivers to a Hope Reception and Ice Cream Social on Sunday, June 2. The event will run from 2:30 to 4:30 pm at Rock Ridge Country Club, 214 Sugar Street.

The event coincides with National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD), when thousands around the world will gather to observe the 26th annual celebration. Newtown will be among hundreds of communities across the US and abroad holding such celebrations to honor cancer survivors and show that there is life after a cancer diagnosis.

National Cancer Survivors Day is the one day each year that communities pause to honor everyone who is living with a history of cancer – including America’s nearly 14 million cancer survivors. “A ‘survivor’ is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life,” according to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation.

“When most people hear the word ‘cancer,’ they automatically think the worst,” says Foundation spokesperson Laura Shipp. “But the truth is that more people are living longer and better quality lives after cancer than ever before. National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity for these cancer survivors to come together and celebrate this new reality in cancer survivorship. There is life after cancer. And that’s something to celebrate.”

NCSD started in the United States in 1987 and is now celebrated worldwide in countries including Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Malaysia, according to Ms Shipp.

Newtown’s ice cream social and reception will provide an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate milestones, and recognize healthcare providers, family and friends who have supported them along the way.

After careful consideration, Newtown Relay organizers and volunteers agreed to be flexible and put the 10th Anniversary Relay on hold until 2014 in recognition of the tragedy that struck Sandy Hook School and the community last December. Relay organizers have also acknowledged that fundraising priorities locally should remain focused on 12/14 victims and survivors.

Directors and management at Rock Ridge have opened their doors to host the free June 2 reception and activities, which will include a “sundae station,” complimentary soft drinks, coffee and tea, as well as live light music from a fellow cancer survivor.

Besides the management of Rock Ridge, several local businesses and supporters have stepped up to ensure all related needs for the event are taken care of, so that neither attendees nor organizers face any related costs. Ferris Acres Creamery and Peachwave will be the primary suppliers of ice cream and fixings being served.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, no matter how recently, is included within the family of local cancer survivors. And caregivers whose loved ones have lost the fight are welcome to attend as well.

Organizers ask that those interested in attending the June 2 Survivors Reception and Ice Cream Social make a reservation by May 28 by calling 203-563-1524. For additional information, direct an email to organizers at relayforlifeofnewtown@gmail.com.

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