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Relay for Life Cancer Fund Raiser Coming to CAHS This Weekend

June 19, 2007 — Teams competing in this year's American Cancer Society Relay for Life, coming up this weekend at the Charlotte Amalie High School track, are embracing its theme, "Be My Champion," organizers say.
The sixth-annual event will start at 4 p.m. Saturday and officially come to an end at 10 a.m. Sunday when the track is transformed into a veritable circus of activity and hope.
The enthusiasm and energy circulating amongst the competing teams is almost palpable. Mum's the word with Team Yaya members. Nobody wants to reveal how much money they have raised, lest it tip off the competition, said Elizabeth Davis, daughter of cancer survivor Elliott MacIver Davis. The team threw a dinner for Debbie and Mac Davis earlier this month to celebrate the couple's 30th wedding anniversary.
The Yayas want to best the Water and Power team, which has taken top honors since the first relay in 2002.
This year's event is dedicated to Kenisha Crossley, a teenager and 2005 Relay poster child who died this spring. Kenisha was diagnosed with cancer when she was 13. Her family had to travel to the States with her for her treatments, because the Charlotte Kimmelman Cancer Center had not opened yet.
This year's poster child is seven-year-old Natasha Frett, a first grader at E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School, who has cancer within the eye.
Relay teams have 15 members, each of whom must raise $100. Each team must also pay a registration fee of $150 for an overall contribution of $1,650 per team. (But the Source has it on good authority that the teams are raising a lot more money than that.)
Last year saw 90 teams compete, but committee member Therese Hodge says this year organizers are looking for 100 or more. "They are still bringing in their applications," she said Tuesday.
The event, the ACS's primary fund-raiser, raised $187,000 last year, according to figures supplied by this year's committee, headed by Jane Dicola. Money raised stays on St. Thomas and is used for educational and screening services to the community, patient medication, off-island travel and patient special needs.
Traditionally the track infield is filled with non-stop activity for 24 hours. Activities this weekend will include karaoke, face painting, board games, a fashion show, volleyball and a first this year: a basketball shoot featuring Gov. John deJongh Jr. Prizes will be given for the most colorful tent.
Cancer survivors are each year's honored guests. The first Survivor's Walk Saturday will begin at about 4:15 p.m. Mable Harrigan, survivor's committee chair, invites all survivors to register at the survivor's tent and receive a free survivor T-shirt. At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the group will be served a dinner in their honor. Any questions about these events can be answered by Harrigan at 776-3572 or Diana Parker at 774-7623.
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