3/6/2013 Mountaintop Relay For Life Planning Now In Full Swing
2013 RELAY FOR LIFE Chairpersons Vicky Serhan and Regina Kloeker are gearing up for MountaintopÆs Relay for Life to be held May 18 and 19 at Crestwood High School.
Mountaintop Co-Chairs Vicky Serhan and Regina Kloeker are deep in the planning of the 11th Annual Relay for Life Cancer benefit scheduled for May 18th and 19th - and they want the whole community to come out for the cause - and for the fun! Vicky is a seasoned organizer and her enthusiasm is sincere and contagious. “I’ve been active here since 2007 and co-chair since 2008. Planning for this year’s Relay is well underway and the sponsorship drive is in full swing. “The theme this year is ‘Spend your Holidays at the Relay.’ So each of our teams will pick a different holiday and use that as their focus.”
Vicky displays natural leadership qualities in her description of the creativity and energy teams use in this annual 24-hour American Cancer Society benefit. “The teams do such a great job in decorating their stands and come up with great fund-raising activities. And everyone has so much fun. Over 80% of our teams are returning this year. That means that they enjoyed it and want to do it again.” Vicky says that 19 teams have signed up so far and it’s pretty early yet, so she is optimistic that they will beat last year’s tally, “We had 21 teams last year and my personal goal is to have 22 teams this year.” With planning started in October, Serhan and her co-chair Kloeker have 2 . months to get all of the details in order for the Relay, and then the group wraps up in June with a party at Kings Restaurant. The Relay for Life is the big program for the year, Vicky says. And there is a special start to the proceedings, “Every year the survivors and care-givers kick off the first lap on the track and then they are invited to a brunch supplied by Junie G’s. It’s really kind of them.”
The laps add up and the donations pour in and teams offer all kinds of products and services throughout the festivities. “We have special laps: crazy hat lap, at night we do a pajama lap, and we have a sun screen lap to educate about the importance of protecting against skin cancer.”
Teams complete their sales goals at the Relay for Life, Vicky explains, but their efforts begin long before those two days in May. For instance, on March 21st they will be holding the Hoops for Hope basketball benefit at the High School. “That’s a lot of fun. All the schools participate. Some of the teams will be there and there will be a basket raffle, a concession stand for food and some of the teachers even take a pie in the face for a good cause,” she says. “That is one of our big fund raisers.” But the biggest event of the year is always the Relay for Life. The program is a lot of work, Vicky admits, but it’s also a lot of fun. She says that Andy Dotzel keeps the music and the energy going, along with different bands. The teams’ tents will be decked out with holiday themes, and Vicky is already hoping for good weather for the Relay!
“It’s a nice way to spend your Saturday. And we have the Luminary Ceremony on Saturday night. You can purchase luminaria bags in honor of people who are currently battling cancer and for those that you have lost, in memory of. And at dark we read the names of those people and we line the Crestwood track with those bags. They are the only light.” It’s a moving tribute to those fighting the disease and those fighting for a cure. Everyone contributes.
Vicky is quick to credit her fellow participants, saying that the volunteers make the day such a success, “They are so dedicated and we have a lot of youth involved this year which is wonderful.”
And as positive as the Vicky Serhan is, don’t be deceived, all this fun and games talk is nice, but these folks are serious about the cause that they are supporting. Vicky has a great time and so does all the volunteers that make this event such a Mountaintop favorite, but she knows what the ultimate goal is. “It is fun, and we all have a good time, but everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. It’s about knowing that you helped to make a difference. Maybe one day there won’t be any more cancer…”
The next planning meeting is scheduled for March 12th at 6:30 pm, in Room 5 of the Crestwood High School. The public is invited to attend.