Clouds and sun
77°
Clouds and sun
Hi 78° | Lo 52°

Rain can’t stop Relay for Life

  • Umbrellas were a must-have as the annual Relay for Life began during downpours Friday night at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

    Umbrellas were a must-have as the annual Relay for Life began during downpours Friday night at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.
    Recorder/David Rainville Purchase photo reprints »

  • Umbrellas were a must-have as the annual Relay for Life began with its "survivors' lap" during downpours Friday night at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

    Umbrellas were a must-have as the annual Relay for Life began with its "survivors' lap" during downpours Friday night at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.
    Recorder/David Rainville Purchase photo reprints »

  • Participants pass by a bubble machine during the annual Relay for Life of Franklin County Friday at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

    Participants pass by a bubble machine during the annual Relay for Life of Franklin County Friday at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.
    Recorder/David Rainville Purchase photo reprints »

  • Umbrellas were a must-have as the annual Relay for Life began during downpours Friday night at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville
  • Umbrellas were a must-have as the annual Relay for Life began with its "survivors' lap" during downpours Friday night at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville
  • Participants pass by a bubble machine during the annual Relay for Life of Franklin County Friday at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield.<br/>Recorder/David Rainville

GREENFIELD — If you don’t think galoshes, raincoats and umbrellas are good gear for doing laps on an oval track, you probably weren’t at the Relay for Life Friday.

The annual event might not be the same without its accompanying rainstorm.

“Last year, it was absolutely pouring, and we thought about canceling the survivors’ lap,” said Sandy Brodie, co-chair of the Relays’ survivorship committee.

“A number of them said ‘Are you crazy? We’ve survived chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgery. Do you think a little rain is going to bother us?’” she continued. “These people amaze me.”

Friday’s rain didn’t stop the 165 survivors from putting in a collective 82.5 miles during their first lap around the half-mile track.

A survivor herself, Brodie has been cancer-free for 42 years. Doctors caught her cancer in the early stages and were able to remove it through surgery. Her husband was also lucky — doctors discovered a lesion of lung cancer accidentally, when they gave him an X-ray to check on his bronchitis.

Preventative medicine and routine checkups, Brodie said, are your best defense against cancer.

“Often, by the time you develop symptoms, it’s too late,” she cautioned.

Richard Wood lost his battle with cancer, but many members of his family are winning their own fights with the disease.

“In our family of nine, eight of us have had cancer,” said Linda Baker, Wood’s sister and captain of the Dick’s Angels relay team.

Their team is 15 strong and includes survivors as well as supporters.

Baker is among the survivors on the Angels.

“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2010,” she said. “I’m still in treatment, but I feel well.”

Though there are dozens of teams that participate in the relay, their only opponent is cancer.

“The relay is like one big family,” Baker explained.

Her team raises money all year long, with prize drawings, bake sales, casino bus trips and weekly dinners at the Bernardston Veterans’ Club.

The Angels have been the top-raising team for several years. By the time the event started Friday, they had brought in more than $20,000, which will be pooled with the other teams’ funds and donated to the American Cancer Society.

Last year, the Franklin County relay brought in more than $250,000 and organizers hope to do so again this year. While the bulk of fundraising happens before the event, teams continue to bring in the bucks as they hold raffles and sell things like baked goods, glow sticks and more.

The relay will continue today, with the closing ceremony scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

There’s still time to come by, get in on the fun and contribute to a good cause. Today’s highlights include the 10 a.m. “sock hop lap,” where the men and boys will dress in drag and compete for “miss Franklin County.” Ex-smokers will take a victory lap at 11 a.m., and at noon, it’s the “dress like a tourist lap.” There will also be music and entertainment throughout the day.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.