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Sullivan: A Decade's Worth of Memories of Medfield's Relay for Life

The Relay For Life 2012 event will be held on June 8 to 9 in Medway, marking a full decade of participation for Medfield.

As I think about the upcoming Relay for Life event on June 8 to 9, I reflect on the previous nine years.  

Having served as a co-chair, publicity chair, team captain and team member, I am reminded of how much this event means to me, as well as how it has evolved. 

Over the years quite a few changes have occurred both in location and town participation, but what hasn't changed are the memories of the people I got to know because of this event. I worked with and walked the track with some remarkable people whom I might never have encountered otherwise. 

Some of these people took on key roles, others attended just to feel the outpouring of support that the Relay gave. Many were either battling cancer, celebrating having beaten it, or volunteering their time and talents.

When I look back at photographs I took over the years, I see the excitement that first year had on the people of Medfield. Under the leadership of Brenda Croke and Jan Interrante, the Relay was a much bigger success than could have been imagined. The funds raised in just the first year by the dedicated teams and individuals in Medfield was close to $120,000.

Unfortunately, a few years later, the involvement of Medfield residents declined and it became impossible for Medfield to host a Relay, so neighboring towns combined efforts and merged into one.

I am reminded of how many friends and neighbors are no longer here. In looking at the pictures, I see the faces of Mary H., Liz B., Sharon N., Bev J., Susan P., Charles D., Russell R. and others, and it saddens me to know that these people were lost to cancer.

But the pictures also remind me that over the years I have met many incredible and courageous cancer survivors. Each and every year it has been so rewarding to see these faces as they walked in the first "Survivor" lap. Lindsey B., Todd F., Peg M., Madeline C., Nancy I., Bev B., Joanne S., and so many more are still here, living life; a true testament to the advances made by the American Cancer Society and cancer researchers.

I had a very personal reason for getting involved with the Relay in 2003. I had lost both my mom in 1996 and my dad in 1998 to cancer. In 2005, my father-in-law passed as well. Each year I think of them at the Relay.

This year marks a full decade of Medfield taking part in the Relay for Life.

On June 8 at 6 p.m., at the Medway Middle School, hopeful and dedicated volunteers and cancer survivors will gather once again at the Relay for Life event. 

I am proud to have taken part in the Relay for Life these past nine years. I feel a sense of accomplishment having fundraised almost $50,000 for the American Cancer Society within that time and a sense of determination to be fundraisinig and walking again this year.  

Within only the past two weeks, I have been told of three more cases of cancer within my family and close circle of friends. It is with such news that I am continuing to support the Relay and hope that the people of Medfield will support it as well.

I invite you to take a look at the photos from past Relay years and I invite everyone in Medfield to attend this year's event on June 8 (6 p.m.) to June 9 (8 .a.m) at the Medway Middle School, 45 Holliston St., Medway.

If you cannot attend, please consider supporting a Relay team or individual like myself. Donations are accepted through Aug. 31.

Please check out www.relayforlife.org/3mnma for more information and thank you for your continued support of the Relay for Life event.

Beverly Bennotti June 04, 2012 at 02:44 PM
What a wonderful article.......and what a wonderful opportunity I have had to have been a part of this event for the past ten years. Colleen has been phenominal with her work in this organization and I know how hard she has worked and how much this 'cause' means to Colleen. She is one in a million and I know a lot of people who will agree with me!
Colleen M. Sullivan June 04, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Thank you, Bev.....it has been my honor to be part of the Relay for Life for so many years.

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