Memories of Relay For Life From the Garebears

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Saultonline.com viewer, Tammy Semande Haman sends in this story from Friday night’s Relay For Life

Relay for Life 2015 – Garebears Care Team Sault Ste Marie​

Friday night marked the annual Cancer Relay walk at John Rhodes​ in Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario​. The experience was truly heartwarming & filled with spirit.

Opening ceremonies started at 7p.m.with our National Anthem, followed by the ribbon cutting by our cities Mayor Christian Provenzano. The survivor’s lap kicks off the walk with a sea of yellow t- shirts that proudly proclaim the front line fighters of this horrible disease. The blue baton is given out to all the teams, & people participating in the event. It is handed down throughout the night and carried with pride, remembrance, & honour!

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The Relay is special in the way that it allows for people to express their own stories & battles, all the while sharing the way in which they conquered Cancer personally. Teams take on themes & names, developing gimmicks to raise the funds through out the night. Plenty of fun activities take place for children & adults. Awards given for best dressed, unique ideas, & valiant efforts.

Myself & my daughter lucy were proud members of The Garebears Care team. Leaders Tina McLarty​ & Gary Smith spent moths preparing & lead their team through example. There was a lot of work put in to teas, car washes, & yardsales from the whole team in the last six months! The jail house that was built brought in a great deal of money. Lucy & I had a lot of fun Bounty Hunting, & we managed to wrangle in Mayor Provenzano for a price. We are very proud to report that we raised a total of $5290.13. putting us in fifth place. We also won the title for Most Team Spirit & Gary took home Best Dressed!

On a more personal note, Lucy & I had our own special quest. Team Marshall was the heart of that journey. Survivors Audrey Marshall​ & Joe F. Plastino​ are simply amazing! Both of them have battled Cancer, together they have beat it, forever they will fight for a cure! I watched my daughter’s eyes light up with inspiration & respect when we watched them cross that line. We cheered loudly when their names were called, & treasured our baton as a symbol of family.

The Love, passion, and dedication put into the relay, is nothing short of a miracle. In that moment, one can celebrate, reflect, or Mourne, with the freedom of knowing that there is no judgement & you are surrounded by loved ones!
Great job to all of the organizers, teams, & participants! Sault Ste Marie, you have done us proud!

Tammy Semande Haman