2024-06-13 3:52 PM

F.C. ‘Relay for Lifers’ Set For All-Nighter Saturday

Forty teams with 433 total participants are signed up so far to take part in the all-nighter at the George Mason High School football field in Falls Church this weekend, May 31-June 1. It’s the Relay for Life fundraiser that has already raised $54,251 for the American Cancer Society, as of last night. That was with three days to go to the event.

The inspirational event kicks off with the arrival of the participants at 6 p.m. Saturday and an opening ceremony. Each of the team members will take turns keeping their team running and walking on the track around the field throughout the night.

The successful model is being used by the American Cancer Society all over the U.S. A similar event was held at Marshall High School, a mile from George Mason H.S., on May 17-18.

For Falls Church, this is the first major Relay for Life event, and organizers have been heartened by the level of response for the first time around. Cancer survivors, family and friends of those lost to cancer, and members of the general public have all pitched in for this weekend’s event.

The newest team to sign on is called “Race For Rose,” and is made up of seventh grade students from the Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, participating in memory of Peter Don Rose, a 32-year veteran teacher in the Falls Church Public School System who lost his own battle with cancer last December.

Sponsored by Garrett Rambler and his staff at Vantage Fitness, the team issued a statement on the Falls Church Relay for Life website saying, “Like the name says, we’re doing it for Mr. Rose! Mr. Rose was a fifth grade teacher at our school – Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School. He rocked! He taught us a lot, including that our community is important and we should give back to it. We lost a phenomenal teacher and a great role model when he lost his fight with cancer earlier in the school year. We are relaying in his memory. Walking all night is the least we can do.”

Members of the “Race For Rose” team are Julia Estrada, Sterling Askin, Sumner Askin, Rachel Baker, Nate Campagnoli, John Glover, James Hickey, Leah Ramos, Ryan Short and Caroline Stahley.

 Two others teams dedicated to the memory of Peter Rose are organized by Stephanie Rose, called “Rose’s Pinky-Touching Thumb Wrestlers,” and by Alex McMillen, called “Mr. Rose’s Remembrance.”

There are no less than 38 other teams with similar motivations and passions entered into this weekend’s Falls Church Relay For Life. They range in size from Lisa Allan’s “T.J. High Rollers” with 25 members signed up, to Andrew Stoecki’s “Hippo Hopefuls” with 24 members, and Hope Galley’s “Good Humor,” with 22, to numbers with single digits.

There is still time to form a team, to sign onto a team, and to donate to the fundraising event. All that can be achieved by navigating the Relay for Life’s Falls Church website. It can be reached through www.fallschurchrelay.org.






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