BRATTLEBORO -- More than 300 people will lace up their walking shoes Friday in the hopes of helping find a cure for one of the most deadly diseases in the world.
Forty-three registered teams will take turns strolling around the Brattleboro Union High School track as part of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. A worldwide event, the Relay at BUHS is the largest cancer-fighting movement in Vermont.
This year's goal is to raise $100,000.
The Relay is slated to start at 6 p.m. and conclude at 8 a.m. After the opening ceremony there will be a survivor lap for caregivers, those that are battling the disease and those that have conquered it. The Luminaria Ceremony is scheduled for 9 p.m. It is described as the lighting of candles inside of bags that line the track and hold the name of a person fighting cancer or that has died because of it. A bacon and egg breakfast will be sold after the closing ceremony at 8 a.m.
The top participants are the 14 members of Team Superhero, which has generated $16,507 as of 4 p.m. on Thursday. Andrea Scott said she started the team a few years ago with her mother and sister to honor her the memory of her father, who died of cancer.
Scott now has another reason to walk the Relay, as her mother died of a rare form of cancer in January after being diagnosed the previous March.
All members of Team Superhero are Scott's family members and friends from the Bellows Falls area, where she
"The main goal is to raise more money for the American Cancer Society," she said.
Peter "Fish" Case, the operations manager/program director for the WKVT radio station, serves as a tri-chair of the Relay with Kyle Audette and Connie Covey. He became involved with the charitable event in 2005 when he wrote one of his "What's Up With That?" columns for the Reformer and encouraged readers to not wait around forever before giving back to their community.
Dwight Williams, then the president of Key Bank and chair of the Relay, called him up and suggested he put his money where his mouth was. Case was more than willing to and became the event's co-chair, eventually becoming the chairman. As one of the tri-chairs, he acts as a master of ceremonies of sorts and keeps everything, as he puts it, "grooving."
The cause hit home for Case in 2007 when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. She died about a year later.
He said people volunteer for the Relay because they know what is possible with a little teamwork.
"It's still a disease that's curable," he said. "It just takes time, money and effort."
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311,