Teams Get a Kick Out of Marshall-Putnam Relay for Life

Team members for the Marshall-Putnam Relay for Life are once again working hard to do their part to stomp out cancer.

Erika Anderson, M-P Relay for Life committee chairman, said this year’s Relay will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at Central Park in Henry. Participants may begin setting up campsites at 2 p.m.

This year’s goal is $79,000, Anderson said.

Two Henry teams, Team Red and Dance Central Divas, are trying to give cancer the boot with a specific fundraiser.

For this fundraiser, the Relay boot is placed on a person’s yard. To have it removed, the homeowner pays $10. To have it delivered to a friend’s house, the homeowner can pay another $10.

Homeowners who have been struck once by the boot can purchase insurance for another $10 — purchasing insurance means the boot can’t be brought back to their property.
Last year a similar fundraiser using a toilet earned $1,275 for the Relay.

“We basically start it about a month before Relay,” Anderson said.

Dance Central Divas, now in its second year as a team, recently hosted a father-daughter dance in Henry to raise money for Relay for Life.

“One Saturday we had one of our students from Putnam County telling us all about the father-daughter dance that her daddy was taking her to later that day,” said Divas leader Christine Gaspardo. “It dawned on me that Henry never had anything like this and I felt that it was something that our community needed and what better way than to make it into a fundraiser for our team.”

For the little girls who were attending, Gaspardo and her team decided to have a pre-event to get them ready for the dance.

“On the day of the event we had a lunch and spa day for girls and entitled this event as ‘Princess for a Day.’ At this event, the girls got to have lunch with the Marshall-Putnam Fair Royalty Little Miss Bella Gaspardo, Junior Miss Morgan Friedrich and Miss Kaitlyn Doyle. From there they went to stations where they got their make-up done, manicures and pedicures,” Gaspardo said.

The “Princess for a Day” event raised $270. The dance, thanks to donations and admission paid by those who attended, raised more than $500, she said.

“We plan to make this event an annual event and hope to have more princesses next year,” Gaspardo said. “We were so happy to make memories with these young ladies.”
Through events and donations, Dance Central Divas have raised $6,000 so far.

Betty Dean of Hennepin, who has been on a Relay team for over 10 years, said the team she belongs to — Team Hennepin — is active throughout the year.

From dinner and breakfast fundraisers to plant sales, the team is always working on a way to earn money to fight cancer, Dean said.

The goal this year is $11,000.

For such a small area, this region has a lot of generous people who make sure to find money to support causes, according to Dean.

Dean admits fundraising is a lot of work, but keeps dedicating her time year after year because “the need is still there.”

If you go: Some of the highlights of the Relay will be the survivor victory and caregiver laps, the introduction of the honorary survivor, youth activities 5-6 p.m., live performances, line dancers, karaoke, a pie eating contest, the luminaria ceremony and a scavenger hunt. The event, which begins at 4 p.m., is scheduled to end at midnight.

Source: News Tribune