MVDHS kicks off Relay for Life

Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – There were a lot of brave souls at the March 8 kick-off for the fourth-annual Relay for Life event at Madawaska Valley District High School.

There, dozens of male students signed up for leg waxing and head shaving in supportof the Canadian Cancer Society.

The kick-off event began with a welcome from MVDHS principal Lauren Wilson. She said partnership is the key to a successful fundraising effort.

“We are an important partner because the location is our school and because we provide lots of teams and lots of donations and lots of spirit,” Wilson explained.

Relay for Life is an annual tradition that happens nation-wide. Teams raise money which is forwarded to the Canadian Cancer Society. In return, the teams walk around the outdoor track at MVDHS for one full night.

Student council president Emily Weatherbed emceed the afternoon assembly. She said two years ago, the school managed to raise more than $2,000, while in 2011 the students raised more than $5,000.

“This year I am hoping that we could match that or make even more,” Weatherbed explained.

Co-chair of the community Relay for Life, Donna Smith then took the stage.

“Four years ago, after being with the Petawawa relay for six years, I was asked to organize the Relay for Life here in Barry’s Bay for the surrounding communities,” she said.

Ever since the event moved to Barry’s Bay, she said it keeps growing and growing.

“With the help of students and teachers from MVDHS, we had three successful years,” she said. “I know that with your help again, our fourth year will be successful.”

Eileen Leslie is the teacher liaison for the event. She introduced the honorary survivor for the event; MVDHS student Olek Sadecki. He attended the kick off and will also be representing survivors at the end of May.

“Olek is the youngest cancer survivor in our community,” she said.
The soft-spoken Grade 11 student braved the crowds and spoke about his life with cancer.

Story continues in the March 15, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.