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Mt. Pleasant Relay for Life to be held July 20-21

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Kelly Vernon | The Independent-Observer
Dad's Woodchucks members, clockwise from left: Susy Spargur, April Peck, Katie Spargur, Judi Brown, Gary Spargur and Jamie Johnson wash cars to raise money June 29 for Relay for Life scheduled for July 20.
Kelly Vernon | The Independent-Observer
One-year-old Lucy Johnson helps raise money for Dad's Woodchucks during a car wash fundraiser June 29 at Busy Beaver on Route 819 in East Huntingdon Township.
Dad's Woodchucks team, first row, from left: Katie Spargur and Morgan Peck. Second row, from left: Jamie Johnson and Jessie Shannon. Third row, from left: Mike Peck, Susie Spargur, Terri Spargur, Joanne Peck, Greg Brown and April Peck. Fourth row, from left: Gary Spargur, John Peck, Adam White, Ashleigh Peck and Judi Brown. Barb and Ken Ritenour are also members of the team.

For the first time, a team known as Dad's Woodchucks will hit the track at the Mt. Pleasant Relay for Life scheduled for July 20-21 at the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands.

The team was founded by family members of the late John “J.R.” Peck of Mt. Pleasant, who lost his battle with cancer in January.

The squad is composed of 17 of Peck's family members who wanted his legacy of woodworking to live on while raising money for the American Cancer Society.

Judi Brown said her father's craftsmanship “can be found in all of his children's homes as well as other homes in the area.”

He crafted cupboards, vanities, doll furniture, toy chests, gun cabinets and swings, she said.

Peck handed his talents down to his son, Mike, who said he used his late father's tools and wood shop to create a bench, porch swing and picnic table to be raffled at the upcoming relay.

In addition, the team will sell walking tacos, HOPE root beer floats and balloons filled with prizes.

The team recently held a car wash, tag day, bowling fun day, along with Pampered Chef and RADA cutlery sales, to raise $4,200 to date.

“I expect to exceed the team's goal of $5,000 by the end of the July 20 event,” Brown said.

Gerry's Western Shop of Champion donated western hats to Dad's Woodchuck team members.

Also helping the team exceed its goal was Henschel and Sons Automotive Warehouse of Connellsville, which donated the $1,000 registration fee.

Other new teams this year include United for a Cure, 90s Kids Against Cancer, Chipetts and Team Black.

Castaways will raffle two Vera Bradley purses, a lottery tree and picture frame of gift cards.

Esther's Crew sponsored a fundraiser called “Honor Your Stars” whereby stars can be seen painted up and down Main Street in Mt. Pleasant.

More than 200 stars were sold, team member Jane Tate said.

“We hope to expand this fundraiser next year to the streets of Scottdale,” she added.

A full story on the effort appears on Page 10 .

In addition, they held bus trips throughout the year to raise money.

They will also hold a used purse sale and raffle a porch swing and breast cancer quilt at the event.

Kevin's Crusaders will sell star-shaped sheriff shaped cookies and have face painting for kids.

They will also raffle a Lane recliner donated by Levin Furniture, a purple and white, handmade, crocheted lap robe and many other basket items.

Mad Cows will hold a basket raffle featuring several baskets donated by local business and Harvest Community Church members.

The Moose Trackers raised money throughout the year with a bus trip to Hartsville Market, sold cabbage and noodles at Scottdale lunch in the park and teacher team members had their students collect dimes. The winning classroom received a party prior to the end of the school year. They will feature homemade root beer and instant bingo, and will raffle baskets at the event.

United for a Cure will host a Mister Relay contest. Participants can bring their own attire or use clothes and accessories provided by the team to dress for the occasion. The object is to see which contestant raises the most money for the cure. Prizes will be awarded.

“There are two important changes to this year's event,” said Linda Millslagle, captain of the Kevin's Crusaders team.

The Relay for Life event will begin with opening ceremonies at noon this year with a Rodeo of Hope theme. The time is two hours later than previous years.

The survivor lap, ceremony and dinner will be at 6 p.m. and is free to all survivors.

Survivors are welcome to bring one guest to the dinner. Survivors will be able to register for dinner on the day of the event.

The Paint the Town Purple campaign for local businesses will conclude Monday. Participants are asked to submit a photo of their storefront via e-mail to

The ponytail donation, hosted by Julie Rause, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants can donate at least 8-inches of their hair to Beautiful Lengths, which provides wigs to The American Cancer Society.

At 9 p.m., the track will be lit with luminarias to celebrate survivors or memorialize people who lost their battle with cancer. There will be a booth for individuals interested in purchasing and decorating luminarias.

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5277 or