Relays for Life set for Saturday in Harrison, Oakmont |

Relays for Life set for Saturday in Harrison, Oakmont

Michael DiVittorio
Lillian Dedomenic | For the Tribune-Review
Relay for Life in Oakmont is set to return to Riverside Park on Saturday, June 1. Carrie Reilly walks in last year’s Relay for Team Malkamania with Lynn and Jim Destout, Anna, 2, and Lucas, 9 months.
File photo
Former “American Idol” contestant Aubrey Burchell will headline a benefit concert for Clean Water Kenya on Oct. 20 in Ligonier’s Diamond Theatre. Here, the Irwin native performs at the Highlands Relay for Life event on June 2, 2018.

Alle-Kiski Valley residents will rally in support of cancer patients and survivors at annual Relays for Life in Harrison and Oakmont on Saturday.

Oakmont’s 19th annual Relay for Life event is set for Saturday at Riverside Park.

The 17th annual Highlands relay will be held on the soccer field next to Highlands Middle School on California Avenue in Harrison.

This year marks the sixth Oakmont relay under the direction of Nancy “Moochie” Donatucci, a 12-year, Stage 3 cancer survivor.

Survivor JoAnn Monteleone co-founded the Highlands relay with her husband, Tony, who died from cancer in 2016.

The Oakmont relay is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., with opening ceremonies starting around 9:30 a.m. and laps beginning at 10 a.m.

Harrison’s relay runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Oakmont relay’s theme this year is board games with the motto, “Sorry Cancer, We Choose Life.”

“Every year we try to come up with something different,” Donatucci said. “We put them all out to the committee and vote on them. We thought this would be different and fun.”

Teams will have a game board at each table. Relay participants can pick up a game board and get check marks by visiting booths, and turn in their cards for a chance to win a basket of many board games.

About 22 teams have signed up, about the same as last year. Planning began last September.

The Highlands relay theme is “Summerfest,” and features a car cruise from noon to 5 p.m. About 16 cars are registered, and more could turn out if the weather is good, Monteleone said.

Between 16 and 18 teams are expected at Highlands, including teams from the New Kensington relay that disbanded and merged with Highlands last year, she said.

Teams raise money throughout the year. Oakmont’s relay collected about $80,000 last year, and Donatucci said she expects to exceed this year’s goal of $70,000.

“Every, single one of us is touched by cancer in some way, and we need to work together in educating, supporting and funding cancer (research),” she said. “I’m hoping it’s a nice day.”

Other activities in Oakmont include a luminaria and survivor ceremony, silent auction, face painting and musical performances by local artists. There will be food trucks from 4 to 8 p.m.

Guest speaker is 3WS radio personality and breast cancer survivor Bonnie Diver.

A baker’s dozen of food trucks will be at the Highlands relay from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Entertainment will include Aubrey Burchell, a former “American Idol” contestant from North Huntingdon who performed at last year’s relay.

There will be a dove release at 5:30 p.m. and a reception for cancer survivors at 6 p.m. The luminaria ceremony starts at 8 p.m., featuring bagpiper Jonathan Love.

The day is capped off with fireworks at 9:45 p.m., and a 50-50 raffle drawing.

“Hopefully it’s going to be a beautiful day and the rain is going to be over,” Monteleone said. “We just want the community to come out. We really do. We love to have the community come out.”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Plum
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.