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St. John’s Third Annual Relay for Life

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Kaleb Smith and his mother Christine Smith walk together during St. John's third annual Relay for Life.

May 16, 2011 - As part of the school’s Catholic Education activities, St. John Elementary School held their third annual relay for life on May 6, 2011. Students, staff and invited guests started off their day in the gymnasium to listen to speakers from local cancer organizations talk about the positive impact the school’s relay has had on the community. As well, survivors connected to the school– be it parents, grandparents, friends etc, were introduced as honoured guests (donning yellow survivor t-shirts) and all were holding balloons with inspirational messages written on them. For the first part of the relay, the survivors and their family did their own few laps and the students stood in the middle of the loop and clapped and encouraged them shouting this year’s relay theme – “Fight Back!” At the end of the survivor’s loop, they released their balloons into the air taking with them, their hopes and wishes. The students then joined in and the relay officially began. After the walking portion was over, the entire school took part in a votive ceremony presided over by Father Sam D’Angelo. The grand total collected by St. John’s was an astounding $3437.94. “It is a day about celebrating courage and strength,” said Tricia Dowdall-Cerilli, principal of the school. “We remember those who have lost their battle and support the students and family left behind. It truly connects the school, parish and community as we stand united againstt cancer and whole-heartedly encourage those with the disease to Fight Back!”

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