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Relay for Life Committee Plans a Big Bash for June 7

"It's My Party" is this year's theme for the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Nine members of the Relay for Life of Monroe/Trumbull Committee met inside the faculty lunch room of Trumbull High School on Wednesday night to plan the American Cancer Society's biggest annual fund raiser. This year's Relay will take place at Masuk High School on June 7 and the theme is "It's My Party."

Katharine Bobel will serve as committee chairman and Debbie Ferreira as the American Cancer Society staff partner. Both attended the Relay for Life Summit.

"It was a great opportunity to learn about the inside of the Relay for Life," Bobel said.

One thing she learned about is a Relay Recess, in which schools have their own mini Relay to get students and parents involved. Bobel said the hope is that the families will join the Relay for Life of Monroe/Trumbull.

Bobel's mother is a teacher at St. Jude School in Monroe where the mother of a student recently lost her battle with Cancer. Bobel will see if St. Jude would be interested in having a Relay Recess.

Inspiring young people to join the effort to improve the lives of those with Cancer is one of the main goals of the committee.

"How can we get the high school kids involved?" Kim Redmond asked.

Bobel suggested having events like fund raising dinners and Ferreira offered to visit Trumbull and Masuk high schools to speak to students.

Barb Susi said teenagers at the Relay have often told her they learned about the fund raiser from information tables at their schools. Fellow committee members brainstormed to see if there are any school events coming up.

Brittany Lorenti suggested club fairs and Wendy Jolls said pep rallies have been effective in the past.

Committee members are also striving to be inclusive with both towns. Susi said local and state officials representing Monroe and Trumbull should all receive invitations to attend.

Kristine Saccone wants school PTAs and PTCs to also be involved.

Who's in Charge?

The committee has to plan a time and place for a Kickoff event, a Mini University on Jan. 12 and Lobby Day on April 24 in which members will push for legislation in Hartford on behalf of the American Cancer Society.

On Wednesday, the committee also went over who would be in charge of different aspects of the Relay such as food and entertainment.

Catherine Lombardi and Redmond want to organize the Paint the Town Purple fund raiser and Saccone wants to be in charge of the Luminary ceremony. Patty Macko and Susi will handle the PR, and Jolls will plan the closing ceremony and try to register Cancer survivors.

Lorenti, who is in charge of the website, said the Relay is pushing for all online donations this year.

"We're just trying to move with time," she said. "The Internet's there, so let's use it."

The committee will meet in the faculty lunch room of Trumbull High School at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month with the exception of February and April. Meeting dates in those months will be announced.

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