All ages readying for Old Town Relay for Life

Posted April 21, 2010, at 5:52 p.m.

People throughout Maine — young, old and in between— are gearing up for the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraisers and, today, we focus on those people doing all they can to raise money to support the Relay for Life fundraiser scheduled for May 21 at Old Town High School.

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Let’s start with Sami Ireland, 12, eldest of four children who live with their mother, Rebecca Ireland, in Enfield.

Sami explained in a letter addressed to “Dear Everybody Out There” that she “just lost my Dad, Bub Ireland, to cancer, on Dec. 28, 2009,” and that she is part of the Relay for Life team “The Determined Turtles,” because “we are determined to find a cure for cancer!”

Sami wants “to raise enough money for 200 luminaries in memory of my dad” and is asking you “to donate at least $10 to buy a luminary for my dad” for the May fundraiser in Old Town.

Sami also wrote she has many other family members and friends who “have suffered through” or are “suffering through” cancer, so she hopes you will help her in this effort.

Checks for luminaries for Sami’s dad may be made out to the American Cancer Society and mailed to Rebecca Ireland, P.O. Box 24, West Enfield 04493.

For more information, e-mail rebecca_ireland@hotmail.com.

“If nobody finds a cure soon, then I will myself,” Sami wrote, because “when I grow up, I want to be a chemist so that I can find a cure for cancer.”

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Jessica Cust of Glenburn is a 23-year-old student at University of Maine at Augusta who is living with a severe congenital heart disease who was hoping to receive a donor heart before it was discovered she had thyroid cancer.

In 2008, Cust wrote, her thyroid was removed, she had radiation, and she is “currently recovering” and hopes “to be able to say I am cured in five years.”

Cust added that, “with the love of family, friends, community and many fundraisers, I have been able to continue as a college student and enjoy my life as it is.”

As a way of thanking those who have helped her and “give back,” Cust wants to raise money for the Old Town Relay for Life and has planned “Dining for the Cure,” 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the West Glenburn Community Club on Ohio Street.

Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children, $10 for couples.

Advance tickets may be obtained by calling Cust at 356-1226.

More information is also available by calling Brenda Moody of WGCC at 478-9692.

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Jennifer Staples of Bangor is a member of the Old Town Relay for Life team “Cancer Sucks” and is working to raise money in memory of her mother-in-law, Alice Staples, and her paternal grandmother, Margarete Bishop.

Jennifer Staples has two fundraisers planned for this event.

The first is a Lia Sophia Jewelry Party, 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, at the Bangor Grange Hall, 1192 Ohio St.

For information and to RSVP, call Staples at 951-8222 or 907-6673, or e-mail her at jlstaples24@aol.com.

Her second fundraiser is bowling 4-11 p.m. Monday, May 17, at The Sports Arena, 1640 Hammond St., Bangor.

For more information and to RSVP, the contacts are the same as above.

Staples also wrote that more information about Relay for Life is available at http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/whatisrelay.

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Sam Weissman of the Milford Fire Department reports that its Milford Fire Family and Friends team has planned several events to raise money for the Old Town Relay for Life.

The first is a yard sale, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Milford Town Hall-Fire Department.

The second is a car wash, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at Webber Energy, 561 Stillwater Ave., Old Town; and the third is an Old Town-area bottle drive, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 15, with drop-off at the Milford Fire Department.

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Dan Cashman of Old Town Relay for Life reports more than 70 teams participated in last weekend’s University of Maine ACS Relay for Life kickoff, raising $47,000.

“This outstanding show of support proves” UM students “stand shoulder-to-shoulder” with the cancer society “to achieve its mission of saving lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and fighting back,” Cashman wrote.

For information about this May event, call 989-0332 or visit RelayForLife.org/penobscotme.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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