Relay for Life draws near and preparation speeds up

Rachael Kogan, Staff Writer

A few years ago, the Schreiber track was rebuilt and new grass was planted in the interior space.  In the years since, the track had some repair issues that needed time and attention, so Relay for Life has been re-located to Sousa Elementary school for the past three years.  This year, the event is moving back to its original location at Schreiber.

Planning began last June, a few days after Relay 2012.  After reviewing last year’s event, the Planning Committee met once a month beginning in October.  In the final months before the event, the committee annually takes on logistical planning, securing teams and donors, doing press and marketing, and working with the Port Washington Police Department on safety issues and the school district on issues surrounding the track and field space.

“Everyone has been very supportive and helpful in this process,” said Ms. Lee Anne Vetrone-Timothy, a Relay co-chair.

For the years at Sousa Elementary School, the committee had to actually map out an official track.

“Having a true track makes everything easier from the start and gives the event – a walking/running event—a true look and feel,” said Ms. Vetrone-Timothy.

This national organization helps to spread cancer awareness across the country as well as raise money for further cancer research.  Port Washington has participated and organized Relay for Life for over twenty years, and raised more than $1 million for the cause.  The event celebrates cancer survivors and caretakers in addition to honoring those who have passed away due to the disease.

“Relay for Life is special in the way that it is not just a school event, but also a community event,” said sophomore Jesse Epstein, who is both a coach and a team captain.  “Members from all over the community join together and participate in this amazing program.”

The Relay for Life club usually holds meetings for the coaches year round.  Starting this month, the club will open its meetings to the whole student body.  There will be four meetings for team captains and two meetings that require entire teams to attend.  The meetings accommodate students’ needs, and each meeting has two dates.  This way there are multiple chances for students to attend the club, and this provides for a more organized event.