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The Relay Starts Friday

Peabody's annual Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society is this weekend. Check out the schedule.

Join in the celebration! Beginning on Friday, and continuing for 18 hours, the Peabody Relay for Life will be off and running.

This year's outstanding Peabody Relay for Life will take place beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, June 15 to 9 a.m. Saturday, June 16 at the track. Relay teams will walk the track all day and night, taking pledges and donations for their fight against cancer.

Relay teams from Peabody and all over the North Shore "camp" on the field, maintaining a presence on the track at all times, and often selling baked goods, jewelry, home products and craft items. A special "Relay Store" is set up in the Field House, and American Cancer Society Relay items are available for purchase, as well as numerous educational pamphlets and booklets.

This year, the crowd favorite and very successful Relay Raffle will take place again – raffle baskets created by each team will be on display and tickets will be available in the Field House. New this year will be a special food court area, which has been set aside for the substantial dinner and dessert selections available for sale by select teams.

In addition to the traditional relay, the . Due to the well-run and well-attended Peabody relay’s standing with the American Cancer Society, the Peabody relay was selected to host the CPS-3 Cancer Study. Steve Burke, longtime Peabody relay volunteer,  is coordinating all aspects of the CPS-3 enrollment.

Burke, a self-described “equal opportunity cancer-hater,” has been enrolling participants for the study, but more are needed. Adults between the ages of 30 to 65 who have never had cancer and are willing to participate in this long-term study are encouraged to stop by the CPS-3 tent during the relay to obtain information and, hopefully, sign-up for this critical study. This is one more way ACS will be working to prevent cancer.

For more information, contact Steven Burke at 978-535-5990 or 508-269-3029 or by email at sburke@burkeassociatesllc.com.

The Relay for Life is open to the public -- you do not need to be a member of a team to attend. Actually, the goal of all of the teams is to get more people aware of and involved with Relay for Life.

Chairperson Karen Esperson and Honorary Chairman Ed Lomasney, Jr. have been working with a dedicated group of volunteers for the past year, preparing for the fun, the education and the celebration of life and remembrance of loved ones all rolled into the relay experience.

"We definitely want people to get the word out -- everyone is welcome, and we want the public to attend," says Esperson. Lomasney's goal has been to "get as many people involved and aware as possible." They guarantee that once you attend the Relay for Life, "you will come back every year."

A list of teams and their members is available online at www.relayforlife.org/peabodyma and online donations can be made to the neighbors and friends listed on the teams.

This year, teams from Peabody elementary schools, , , Logan Airport, college students, neighborhoods, scout troops, and friends and families are all working towards the same goal -- to fight cancer.

The Peabody Relay for Life schedule is listed below:

Friday, June 15

  • At 3 p.m. , Kids Care events begin. These events are designed for children, and honor the youngest fighters and their friends. All children and families are invited to come participate in craft activities, dances and games. Refreshments are available, and all attending can see  a preview of the fantastic Basket Raffle items available.
  • At 4:30, Wally, the Red Sox mascot will be visiting until 5:15.
  • At 6 p.m., the Welcome Ceremony and Survivor Lap begins. Escorted by bagpipes and bands, the survivors light the ceremonial flame, and then lead the relay in its first lap, followed for the next 18 hours by family, friends and teammates walking continuously through the night. Theme laps run on an hourly basis.
  • 7 p.m. -- FIGHTBACK Theme. Walk the track and view information on cancer and prevention.
  • At 8 p.m., Ms. Relay will make her debut! (Men dress their best, carry a pocketbook and ask for donations. The male with the most money in his pocketbook wins the title of Ms. Relay and wins a prize.)
  • At 9 p.m., the purple theme (wear purple) and Balloon Release Ceremony (honor loved ones with a special balloon and all balloons will be released at 9 p.m. to carry the message to the sky).
  • At 10:15 pm- Luminary Ceremony – Luminaria are available for sale earlier in the Relay, and are lighted at dusk.  The scene is breathtaking as the lights are lowered on Cooley Lee Field and only the glow of the Luminaria lining the track and the stands can be seen.  This lap is a silent lap, and is a very moving experience.
  • At 11 p.m., Favorite Olympic Sport Theme.

Saturday, June 16

  • At 12 a.m., the Pajama Theme.
  • Relayers will continue to walk the track all night. Then, at 6 a.m., Breakfast by Buck’s Battle will be visited by Chomps, the North Shore Navigators Mascot.
  • 7. a.m. is the Team Lap.
  • 8 a.m. is the Green Theme Lap.
  • At 8:30 is another Survivor Lap where all participants cheer on the survivors and the closing ceremony then takes place.

For more information about the CPS-3 study, visit cancer.org/cps3, email cps3@cancer.org or call toll-free at 888-604-5888. For more information on the Relay for Life in Peabody visit www.relayforlife.org/peabodyma.

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