Linthicum makes tracks to raise money to fight cancer


July 11, 1999|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IN MORE ways than one, the First Annual Relay for Life held last month in Linthicum was a big success. Individuals and organizations in the community came together and gave unselfishly of their time, raised more than $22,000 for the fight against cancer, and from all appearances had a lot of fun.

When I arrived at Lindale-Brooklyn Park Middle School about 7 p.m. June 18, there was a lot of activity going on.

The relay had officially started an hour earlier. Men and women, children and teen-agers were busy setting up tents and all sorts of camping gear for the overnight event sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Group teams and individuals were making sure they were registered, paying their fees and picking out the right size "Relay for Life" T-shirt each person received. Everyone was in an upbeat mood.

The money was going to help the cancer society provide information and services to local cancer patients and for research and education.

Set up on alawn between two buildings, the tents and tables (laden with snacks and full-course meals) were set in the center leaving a walking track around the perimeter.

As soon as the relay began, people started walking, and when they got tired someone else from the team took over. This relay continued until noon Saturday.

Many local teams participated: two teams from Massage Works Therapy Center (team name, "Kneading for Dough"); three teams from Harbor Hospital (team name, "Sailing for a Cure"); Doubletree Guest Suites (team name, "Cookies for a Cure"); Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Co. (team name, "Circle M Ranch"); St. John Lutheran Church, KFC (team name, "Kids for Christ"), Youth Group (team name, "KFC Kids Fighting Cancer"); Overlook Elementary School (team name, "Do it for Dustin"); H.P.V. Nuclear Imaging Center (team name, "The Heartbeats"); Linthicum Rotary Club and Friends; Bob Bell Ford automotive group.

Several teams were made up of local families and friends.

They included "Hula for the Moola" -- Ashley Sandifer, team captain; "Struttin' for Cancer, Blarney Style" -- Cheryl Reisinger, team captain; "Chloe's Crusaders" -- Tina Hadjis, team captain.

Local organizations got involved by donating food, giveaways, money or time. Papa John's of Linthicum provided a midnight pizza party; coffee was donated by Michael's Eighth Avenue; breakfast was donated by the Linthicum Lions Club and the Anne Arundel Alarmers Association; the Coast Guard donated two tents; and Shaw & Son's donated a Moon Bounce. Donations were also received from the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association, Doubletree Guest Suites, Massage Works Therapy Center, Olive Grove Restaurant and many others.

Entertainment was provided by the following: Band-Kracker Jack Majik; line dancing by Dick Benjes of Dancin Cowpokes and Bernie Simon of the Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights; Morning Stretch by Shelley Sehnert of Harbor Hospital; massages by Massage Works; face painting and hair braiding by Patty and Jessica Arrington; DJ by Young at Heart DJ Service; "T.G.I.F." Barbershop Quartet.

The Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association and the GFWC Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights provided volunteers for the relay.

During the opening ceremonies, Krisen Jones, an 11-year-old cancer survivor, spoke about her experience with cancer as a 4-year-old and the support the American Cancer Society provided through its camp for kids with Camp Sunrise.

Robin Haller spoke at the luminaria (candle lighting) ceremony held at sundown. She spoke about her battle with cancer and the role of medical and family caregivers.

Reisinger and her team, "Struttin' for Cancer, Blarney Style," swept the awards with prizes for top fund-raising team. The team raised $3,831. It also won for best decorated campsite, which included a Blarney Stone, decorated tents and team member costumes. Reisinger received the top individual fund-raiser award for raising $676. Best team theme went to Doubletree Suites for its "Cookies for a Cure." Best team costume went to Sandifer's team "Hula for the Moola."

Susan Bauman, American Cancer Society organizer, said that fund-raisers such as this help with the money for the many services provided by the society free to patients and their families. Services include: Reach to Recovery, a one-on-one support program by women who are cancer survivors for women in whom breast cancer has been diagnosed; Look Good-Feel Better, volunteer cosmetologists helping women to look and feel better while going through treatment; Camp Sunrise, a weeklong camp for children with cancer and for siblings of children with cancer.

Information about these or other local services: American Cancer Society, 800-ACS-2345 or on the Web at

Information on how to participate in the Relay for Life next year: 410-721-4304, Ext. 1005.

Bluegrass in the park

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