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Fighting cancer one step at a time

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2013

Contact Information:
Cathy Hoover-Smith, CEO and Founder, (508) 832-2628

AUBURN_ Empowering people and raising funds in the fight against cancer is the premise and mission of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life movement. At Relay for Life events, communities across the world come together to honor cancer survivors, honor loved ones lost, and raise funds and awareness to help eradicate cancer forever.  To date, over 4 million people in 20 different countries have raised money for the Relay for Life movement.

Starting on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 at 5:30 p.m., through Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 at noon, Central South County’s Relay for Life in Auburn will kick off its 10th year anniversary. Located at Lemanski Field, Oxford Street, Auburn, the Relay for Life event is an organized, overnight fundraising walk with teams of people who camp overnight on a track.  Members of each team take turns continually walking around the track. A special Survivors Lap is always held and all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer, while being cheered on by the other participants.

This year’s event has already drawn 36 teams and well over 315 participants.

“The Central South County’s Relay for Life grows stronger every year under the guidance of Al Norris, Gary Mahlert, Cindy Gallant, and Meghan Hoffsommer,” said Mary Haglund, Central South County’s Relay for Life Teddy Bears Forever Team Captain.

This year’s Relay for Life theme is Celebration, and participants and survivors will celebrate all they’ve overcome during a night filled with events, theme laps, music, and culminating with an incredibly inspiring Luminary Ceremony at Lemanski Field.  This Ceremony displays lit luminary bags that contain loved ones’ names or pictures.

“Many teams have been in the Relay since the beginning, while others are joining this year for the first time. Teddy Bears Forever is a brand new team consisting of many employees of South County Physical Therapy, Inc. (SCPT), along with family and friends. We have a total of 19 members to date,” said Haglund, also an employee of SCPT.

“One of SCPT’s physical therapy assistants, Heather Beauregard, has volunteered to provide massages at the event, while one of our therapists, Jayme Protano, will be leading a yoga class. Another therapist, Patti Piecewicz, has offered to help in the first aid tent if needed,” Haglund said, adding, “SCPT’s Director of Oncology Rehabilitation Jen Goyette, has a special connection to the Relay and survivors.  Our Co-Captain is another SCPT employee, Rebecca Larson. Everyone on the team has their own personal reason to attend the Relay.”

SCPT CEO and Founder Catherine “Cathy” Hoover-Smith is also a Teddy Bears Forever team member and a strong advocate for social consciousness.

“I’m so proud of my employees and their commitment to such a great cause,” Hoover-Smith said. “It’s so inspiring to see them in action and working for the greater good.”

For those wishing to participate in the Central South County’s Relay for Life, or to make a donation, visit

“If this is someone’s first Relay, they will become hooked and it won’t be their last,” Haglund said. “It is truly a remarkable event.”

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