Relay for Life honors late Ringgold teacher
The Relay for Life has grown over the years in participation and as a fundraising event. For many who participate, the event is personal – they dedicate it to a friend or family member who succumbed to cancer.
For the Ringgold community, that took on special significance with the loss in late December of teacher Ed Vercoe.
Ringgold reached out to American Cancer Society and other schools planning to attend the Relay for Life on May 3 at Charleroi Area High School stadium and asked that the event be dedicated to Vercoe. All agreed.
A special memorial service was held in Vercoe's honor.
It was a part of a successful, although emotional, Relay for Life in the Mon Valley.
Almost 900 students on 84 teams raised more than $85,000 for the American Cancer Society benefit.
Last year, the event raised $67,000.
This was the 13th year for Relay for Life. Seven years ago, the Youth Relay for Life was created. Two years ago, the two events were combined.
Neil Gearhart, income development representative for the American Cancer Society, oversees the Relay for Life programs in the region.
“This was one of the biggest fundraising years we've had,” Gearhart said. “This year, we were able to bring back the Frazier School District for the first time in a few years.
“We're getting more and more support from the schools, and it's becoming more competitive.”
At the beginning of each school year, students in each participating district set their own fundraising goals. Some schools set goals as high as $25,000.
Even close to two weeks after the May 3 event, students are still collecting money. Gearhart said the event may raise as much as $90,000 by the time all donations are collected.
Gearhart said the devastation of cancer is hitting home for more for people.
“I think the students have grasped hold of this event and what it means to the community of friends and family,” Gearhart said. “They want to make a difference.”
Students sell food, sponsor games and play sports on the football field.
Registration starts at 5 p.m. for survivors and the survivor celebration starts at 6 p.m., including a lap of the track and dinner.
The luminary ceremony was dedicated to the Rev. Jim Linn of the First Christian Church in Fallowfield Township. Luminaries are sold for $5 in honor of individuals who succumbed to the disease. The candles are lined up along the track fence.
Linn has been a cancer survivor since age 19 in 1979 and has been at the First Christian Church since 1996.
He was diagnosed with glioma in December. He was a reader for the luminary ceremony at Monessen for six years for the Relay for Life.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cops nab Donora assault suspect
- Donora demolishing former Fifth Street School
- Rider seeks expanded transit services
- Donora-Webster bridge demolition delayed
- Uniontown, Mon Valley hospitals tighten no-tobacco policies
- Joe Campus bringing big band sound to Monessen Elks Lodge 773
- ‘Taste of the Town’ a hit in Rostraver
- North Charleroi’s ‘Toast To Our Stars Club’ claims long legacy of pride
- Mon Valley officials complain over PennDOT work schedule
- Authority of the Borough of Charleroi spot sparks dispute