Relay for Life kicks off Saturday at fairground

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This yr, contributors within the Relay for Life in Rutland County are being invited to “Give Cancer the Boot” because the annual occasion can have a Western theme for the primary time.

The relay challenges groups to have somebody stroll the monitor on the Vermont State Fairgrounds from its begin at 1 p.m. Saturday via 7:45 a.m. Sunday. Team members discover sponsors and the cash raised is donated to the American Cancer Society.


Angie Rivers, left, a volunteer for the Relay for Life Event Leadership Team, works with Susan Gladding-Heitzman to lock race sponsorship indicators to the railing on the Rutland fairgrounds Thursday. (Robert Layman / Staff Photo)

On Thursday, Ken Shattuck, co-leader of the Rutland occasion, was on the fairgrounds together with his daughter, Autumn, and different volunteers to arrange the positioning. Shattuck, of Rutland, mentioned it was exhausting to clarify why the Relay was so vital to his household.

“You have your organic household, however I’ve my Relay household too,” he mentioned. “It began off as, I work within the household so it’s a option to give again to the neighborhood but it surely’s turn out to be a lot greater than that. It’s a lifestyle for my whole household now.”

Autumn, a member of the Harold’s Herd staff, mentioned she had misplaced two grandparents to most cancers. The staff is called after Ken’s father and Autumn’s grandfather.

“It hit residence. It positively hits residence greater than some other occasion I do. We’re actually only one big household, and we’re all right here for a similar cause. We all wish to discover the tip to most cancers,” Autumn Shattuck, additionally of Rutland, mentioned when requested about why she returns to the Relay yr after yr.

Like most Relays, the Rutland occasion, which has a robust repute for drawing most cancers survivors and elevating extra money than different, bigger New England communities, begins with a lap for most cancers survivors celebrating most cancers survivors and people at present battling most cancers.

The luminaria ceremony is scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday. Candles honor the neighborhood’s most cancers survivors and keep in mind these misplaced to the illness. Participants will circle a monitor that’s surrounded with glowing luminaria that bear the title of somebody who has battled most cancers.

Autumn Shattuck mentioned this yr’s visitor speaker is most cancers survivor and Fair Haven Union High School monitor coach Randy Shutter.

Richard Vitagliano, the opposite co-leader of the Rutland occasion, mentioned there was a small decline within the variety of registered groups this yr. But he anticipated the variety of contributors to be about the identical with some individuals becoming a member of new groups.

Numerous the groups are from locations like Rutland Regional Medical Center, General Electric, Dunkin’ Donuts, the Neshobe School in Brandon and Carris Reels. But most of the groups are “family and friends” of most cancers survivors, quite than being affiliated with a company.

In 2017, the Rutland occasion raised about $230,000 and Vitagliano mentioned this yr’s purpose is $260,000. According to the occasion’s net web page, greater than $165,000 has already been named.

The Western theme this yr was voted by final yr’s contributors, in response to Vitagliano. He mentioned organizers all the time decide a special theme for the Rutland County Relay.

“Last yr, we did it just a little totally different,” he mentioned. “We did a survey among the many groups. It was type of neck-and-neck the place they selected a Western theme and Dr. Seuss, so we selected one for this yr and Dr. Seuss shall be subsequent yr.”

Elizabeth Gardner, neighborhood growth director for the American Cancer Society, mentioned Relay for Life, which has native occasions in lots of communities, brings collectively hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide.

“We’re celebrating collectively. We’re honoring survivors and caregivers collectively and, in fact, family members misplaced,” she mentioned.

The cash raised helps analysis and providers that serve Rutland County, Gardner mentioned.

Luminaria could also be bought for $5 by calling 353-7100 or 683-0479, or by visiting www.relayforlife.org/rutlandvt. Participants can join as late because the day of the occasion.

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