Relay For Life of Quaker Valley honors child fighting cancer

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

An Edgeworth Elementary student battling cancer will be honored on Saturday as part of the daylong events at the 10th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Quaker Valley.

The Walk for Joey begins at 2 p.m. in honor of Joey, a fifth-grader diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Event chair Barbara Cooley Thaw said in addition to the walk, there will be a large flower pot so children can plant seeds of hope and add their fingerprints in Joey's honor.

“We just want people to come and see,” Cooley Thaw said.

Ryan Kennedy, a fifth-grade Edgeworth teacher, will serve as the master of ceremonies of the event, to be held this year at Osborne Elementary.

Relay supports the American Cancer Society and gives people the chance to honor and remember those who are living with or have died from cancer. Participants spend the day and night walking as a reminder that cancer never sleeps. The day also includes a survivor's lap and the lighting of luminaria bags and candles, which can be purchased at the event.

Cooley Thaw said 13 teams are signed up to participate, but anyone can join in at no cost.

She encourages the public to come out and join the activities — a bounce house, face-painting, a dunk tank, tug of war and prizes — and walk laps for the two out of three men and one out of three women who will be diagnosed with cancer.

“We're raising money, but we're also raising awareness,” she said.

She thanked many people for making this year's event possible, particularly the Rev. Scott McCabe of North Way Christian Community. She said the church rents the Glen Osborne school for services on the weekends, but has been gracious to allow the relay to use the inside of the building and has offered volunteers to help with the transition.

She thanked other groups and individuals as well.

“Glen Osborne Mayor Barbara Carrier as well as council have been so helpful, Jeff Neff from Cochran Hose Co., and John Roberts from Valley Ambulance said they're going to park an ambulance at our event.”

Superintendent Joseph Clapper is again conducting the fight back ceremony. Dante Maruca of Sewickley, a concert and sound provider, whose mother is a survivor, is again helping with the stage and sound equipment.

Larissa Dudkiewicz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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