After 10 years as a volunteer for Relay for Life, this year’s chairwoman Debra Sidman is chairing the 2013 American Cancer Society’s major fundraiser.
“I stepped up to be chair of this year’s event because it is now very personal,” Sidman said. “On Dec. 29, 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have been cancer free for a year, but I’m still undergoing treatment and I know firsthand the effects of the disease, both physical and emotional.”
Although she is a busy woman as an English teacher to 100 ninth- and 10th-grade students at Sequoia Pathway Academy and mother of two teenagers, Phoebe, 15, and Joey, 17, Sidman is determined to make the upcoming event the most successful ever. Her goal is to have 75 teams, each with 15 members.
Maricopa’s 2013 Relay for Life is April 27 at Pacana Park.
On Saturday, the event officially kickoffs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Desert Star Gymnastics, 12501 N. Murphy Road.
For Sidman, Relay for Life is all about community involvement: for those battling cancer, for the survivors, for people who participate in memory of a loved one lost to cancer.
“Whether you live in Maricopa, Hidden Valley, Ak-Chin or other surrounding communities, this is about coming together to support the fight against cancer,” she said.
During the kickoff, people can sign up, choose and register their team names, start recruiting team members and develop fundraising goals. Food and drinks will be provided.
Common fundraising activities include creating cookbooks bearing team names, bake and homemade craft sales, services such as yard work, house cleaning, and babysitting, activities such as skate parties, bowling and trivia nights, and collecting donations.
Kick-off event participants will also be asked to attend monthly rallies held the last Thursday of the month through April 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Room N-1 at Sequoia Pathway Academy.Relay for Life is an annual event in which more than 4 million people in more than 20 countries participate. While specific events may differ, all have three common ceremonies:
• Survivor’s Lap – survivors celebrate what they’ve overcome
• Luminary Ceremony – features remembrances for those who lost their battle with cancer and honors those who have fought or are fighting cancer.
• Fight Back Ceremony – this ceremony inspires participants to take tangible action against a disease that has taken too much.
More information is available at Relay for Life (search by city), email the Maricopa organizers at MaricopaRelay@gmail.com or contact co-chairwomen Debra Sidman, 602-460-9893, or Shari Kyker, 480-270-0292.