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Williamstown Relay for Life moves inside due to weather

WILLIAMSTOWN — Stormy weather didn’t stop the 17th Relay for Life of Williamstown on Friday evening as the event moved indoors to the First Baptist Church of Williamstown.

This year’s theme was Relaying through the Decades.

“This event is in its 17th year. So we wanted to do a couple of decades to kind of change it up a little bit and know that we’ve been working towards hope for a long time,” said Carmen Hathaway, senior development manager with the American Cancer Society.

Eight teams were registered for the event, which began Friday afternoon with open ceremonies.

Patricia Brown was this year’s Grand Marshal. During the opening ceremonies, Brown shared her cancer story.

Patricia Brown, this year’s Grand Marshal, tells her cancer story during the Relay for Life of Williamstown. (Photo by James Dobbs)

“My journey began in June of 2017 when I felt something different about my right breast,” she said.

After a mammogram and an ultrasound came back normal, the doctor ordered an MRI and found two tumors in Brown’s right breast. In March of 2018 she had a double mastectomy.

Last July, doctors found another tumor between Brown’s ribs and it was removed in November. She was then diagnosed with Stage Four triple negative breast cancer. She started chemotherapy in January of this year and ended in May. Her radiation treatment will end next week.

“But what I want you all to know is that through all of this ordeal and you know what an ordeal it is, you’re here because you’ve either had cancer or you’ve cared for someone who’s had cancer,” she said. “I have been blessed. I have found a lot of things to be thankful for.”

Brown said she is thankful for her husband, her grandchildren and the rest of her family and friends who have given her support when she needed it most.

Grayson Farmerie, 4, races around the church during the Road to Recovery Grand Prix Race. (Photo by James Dobbs)

After the opening ceremonies, the survivors walked around the church and were led by Brown for the survivors first lap. Caregivers were asked to join during the second lap.

The Purse and Pie Auction began at 7 p.m. Purses, pies, cakes, backpacks and gift baskets were auctioned off by Mike Voshel, auctioneer.

Around 7:50 p.m. the Road to Recovery Grand Prix Race was held. It featured younger kids racing around the church in colorful car outfits.

The luminaria ceremony started around 9:30 p.m. Usually, bagged candles are lit in remembrance of loved ones lost due to cancer. This year, because the event was inside the candles were replaced with battery operated candles. Closing ceremonies were scheduled for 10 p.m.

Hathaway said the proceeds of the event were nearing $10,000 before the Relay started. She said she isn’t sure if they would make their goal of $20,000 this year, but said everyone is working incredibly hard to try to make it happen.

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