Sadly, cancer seems to affect everyone in the North Country - whether we’ve had a family member with it or been witness to a dear friend enduring a battle with it. It’s something that will unfortunately affect us, whether directly or indirectly, at some point in our lives...but luckily, there are groups of people right here in the North Country that are doing what they can to help fight the good fight.
Fred shared how he became involved in the American Cancer Society’s efforts to combat this deadly disease. “My situation is I lost a brother to cancer in 2000 and a couple of years after that I had this great idea to jump in Willoughby Lake on January first to raise money for the American Cancer Society. After I did that for a couple of years, they asked if I could start the Caledonia County Relay for Life. The Relay has been going for about 12 years, I believe, and I think this is our 13th or 14th Relay for Life.
“The Relay for Life, when we first started it, used to run overnight. Now it runs from noon to midnight, which makes it a lot easier to be involved in. When it was overnight we had people camping out. Locally, we’re at the St. Johnsbury Academy football field, walking around the football field. The idea is to have someone walking on the track to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. Now we’re on the track from noon to midnight.
“What our Relay does is kind of unique...when we were an overnight event we had something called Midnight Madness, where from Midnight to 1 am we ran. Now we do our Midnight Madness from 2 to 3, and we keep track of how many laps you can do. There are teams of people who do it as a Relay, or you can just do it all by yourself.”
One of Mayo’s employees, Nancy Hartwell, came up with the idea to use their showroom as a way to further help raise money for the cause. Mayo’s is currently sponsoring a Window Design Challenge, where “teams will have access to any and all of the furniture and accessories in the store to design their space.”
Fred continues, “What we’re doing as a separate fundraiser for the Relay for Life, is we’re offering a $500 donation to the Relay for Life to the team, in the team’s name, to whoever wins this challenge. Bassett Furniture is also offering up a $250 prize to the second place team, so we have some real competition going on. We’ve got a window in the front corner of the store that we empty out every Friday, and on Saturday a different team comes in and sets up that room, however they want and we display it how they set it up for that week. Most of the teams are setting up living rooms in that space, but this week we have a bedroom set up, last week we had a dining room set up. We have a lot of different things here they can put in for accents. The teams have a lot of fun with this design challenge, and it’s a lot of fun for everyone involved. It’s exciting for everybody, we like to see the windows change, and customers get excited about it too.
“Our Relay for Life is a lot of fun, and this year we’re bringing back bands, which we had in the beginning. The Caledonia County Relay for Life is June 17th, which is a week later than we normally have it. We’re really excited to have this be a huge event, and we hope to see as many people as possible there. Let’s kick cancer’s butt!”
You can find all of the different room designs on Mayo’s Furniture and Flooring’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/mayos.furniture - get over there and check out the different rooms these Relay teams are designing!
If you’re interested in participating, donating, or learning more, find the Caledonia County Relay for Life on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CaledoniaCountyRelayForLife/ and online at www.relayforlife.org/caledoniavt!