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Survivors Event Planned— Newtown’s 10th Anniversary Relay For Life Postponed Until 2014

The traditional gifts for a tenth wedding anniversary are tin and aluminum, symbols of how a successful marriage needs to be flexible and durable. The same concepts of flexibility and durability can be applied to Newtown’s Relay for Life, the communitywide cancer awareness and fundraising event that has previously drawn thousands to the Newtown High School stadium and more recently to Fairfield Hills.

After careful consideration, Relay organizers and volunteers have agreed to be flexible and put the 10th Anniversary Relay on hold until 2014 in recognition of the tragedy that struck Sandy Hook School and the community last December, as well as in acknowledgement that fundraising priorities locally should remain focused on 12/14 victims and survivors.

There will be an informational meeting Thursday, April 4, at 7 pm, at Newtown High School for anyone with questions, comments or concerns regarding the local Relay For Life. Relay Chairman Cheryl Jablonowski, who will lead that meeting, said in a March 27 letter to volunteers that she was proud and excited to be associated with the tenth anniversary of the Relay For Life of Newtown.

“Believe me, I had some big plans,” Ms Jablonowski. “Then, in December, my plans and priorities changed.  The celebration that I had envisioned now seemed selfish and insignificant, and I honesty did not know how the event could proceed.”

The event chair gathered fellow committee members together recently to consider what the Relay For Life could be in Newtown for its 10th Anniversary year. 

“We thought of our police officers who typically provide security for the Relay and all that they had been through,” Ms Jablonowski wrote. “We thought of the Town Hall and Parks and Recreation staff, who donate so much of their time and resources to enable our event, that are now focused on new projects and fundraisers for Newtown.”

It was in consideration of the still grieving and recovering community, as well as municipal workers, that organizers decided to postpone the Relay For Life event for 2013. 

“Our 10th anniversary celebration will take place in June of 2014 and we plan on having 10 small monthly events, beginning in August, leading up to a full Relay event,” Ms Jablonowski said. “We also plan to honor and acknowledge our survivors at an event just for them, June 2.”

Ms Jablonwski and other Relay organizers are calling on cancer survivors or caregivers to take part in a special 2013 reception, and are asking those who could attend a local afternoon event that day to send an email to relayforlifeofnewtown@gmail.com.

Anyone who has already registered for the Newtown event can keep their profile, registration and fundraising toward the 2014 event. Local supporters are also welcome to participate in neighboring Relay For Life events in Bethel, Brookfield, Monroe/Trumbull, Shelton, Ridgefield, and Greater Waterbury

Any registered Newtown Relay participant may transfer an established registration from Newtown to a neighboring event by sending their information to relayforlifeofnewtown@gmail.com

“Your registration fee and any funds raised to date will be transferred to the event that you select and we hope that you will rejoin us in 2014,” she added.

More stories like this: 12/14, Relay For Life, Jablonowski
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