Brandishing a guitar and bright pink shades, Relay For Life team member Jeff DePinto and GloGlo Girls teammates Matt Hess and Robby Schreiber worked the corner of Main Street and Glover Avenue waving signs for a benefit tag sale Saturday morning May 10.
While up the block, emerging sunshine seemed to push vehicles toward a benefit car wash in the rear lot at Newtown Savings Bank where a cluster of volunteers swarmed around with hoses, buckets, and sponges tending to their customers.
The tenth Newtown Relay For Life is just two weeks away and community spirit around the landmark event is building to a fever pitch around town. The public event, which helps raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society (ACS), has taken its place alongside the Labor Day Parade, holiday tree lightings and Halloween on Main Street as one of the biggest community building events of the year.
Returning to Newtown High School’s Blue & Gold Stadium after several years at Fairfield Hills, the free, 12-hour non-sporting relay is expected to draw thousands of residents during the overnight of May 31 to June 1, many of whom have faced cancer themselves, or who have supported loved ones, friends, and family members through the fight.
Event Chairman Chris Farrington is reminding those who are already registered for the 2014 Relay that the last full committee meeting is set for 6 pm on Thursday, May 22, at Newtown Savings Bank.
ACS event specialist Dave Andos will be distributing committee T-shirts and team members or representatives are asked to make every effort to be there since it will be the last chance to tie up loose ends before Bank Night and the relay it self.
Committees that have started recruiting volunteers for the day of Relay are being asked to send a list of volunteers so organizers can coordinate and make sure there are enough volunteers to cover all areas of the event. He is also seeking interested community members to volunteer a few hours to help during the overnight activities.
Mr Farrington and Relay supporters need as many people as possible to hang purple ribbons around town during the weekend of May 17.
“Anyone who has relationships with any business owners in town, please take a minute and see if you can hang a purple ribbon outside their business,” Mr Farrington said in his latest event e-mail. “The more purple we have around town, the better.”
Relay team members can vie for the one open table left to promote fundraising at the annual Lions Club Duck Race on May 24. In the meantime, the chair is reminding those holding future fundraisers to get in touch for promotional assistance.
Among other scheduled pre-event activities are a Zumba fundraiser May 17 at the NYA Sports & Fitness. The 10:30 am activity is being hosted by Amy Krasowski and Melissa Boyles.
“We saw some awesome fundraisers this weekend,” he said. “Keep up the good work and if your team is having a fundraiser, let us know and we will post it online.”
And event organizers are seeking gentlemen for the ever-popular “Miss Relay” competition. Interested participants work the relay track and tents seeking donations as votes with the title going to the contestant who raises the most tips — and eyebrows.
All Miss Relay Contestants should wear “appropriate high heels” — the higher the better, according to the Relay website. They should plan to dress in their “very best or worst” dress; carry their “favorite purse” to collect donations as they walk the Miss Relay Lap; and complete their look with “hair, make-up and the accessories.”
Organizers encourage pre-fundraising and guest appearances prior to May 31 to increase participants’ chances of being crowned Miss Relay.
Relay volunteers are busy planning the always moving luminarias ceremony which honors those who lost the fight. Hundreds of illuminated bags inscribed with the names of lost loved ones will line the relay track while a slide show displays images of community members and others in memorial.
Regardless of whether they are planning to attend, Newtown residents are invited to submit a photo of a loved one or special individual affected by cancer for the slideshow. If submitting an image, send it via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos should be submitted in jpeg format.
Team leaders are reminded that Bank Night will be from 6 to 8 pm Wednesday, May 28, at Newtown Savings Bank. All teams should send at least one representative to turn in any money raised and turn in any luminarias (money and forms) sold by Bank Night, turn in Chaperone and Youth Participant forms, and collect team bags with T-shirts, glow sticks, and other important event information and supplies.
Mr Farrington reminds all youth participants under age 18 that they must sign a Youth Participant and Chaperone form, or they will not be able to stay overnight at the relay. All chaperones must be 25 years old or older, and each chaperone can be responsible for no more than ten youth participants. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Link to important event announcements, Youth, Team, and Chaperone forms by clicking here.
As teams prepare for the event, remember that there will be no food, pets, or staking of tents allowed on the track or field turf.
Direct any questions to the 2014 relay committee via e-mail, to email@example.com