The Times
  • Walkers ‘hog tie cancer’ during Relay For Life

  • Dolgeville’s Relay For Life took place this past weekend.

    The two-day event kicked of at noon on Saturday and continued through noon on Sunday.

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  • Dolgeville’s Relay For Life took place this past weekend.
    The two-day event kicked of at noon on Saturday and continued through noon on Sunday.
    The relay began with the survivor lap in which survivors of cancer took the first lap around the track at Dolgeville Central School. The second lap was dedicated to caregivers who helped fight with the survivors during their battle.
    The theme of this year’s Dolgeville Relay For Life was “Hog Tie Cancer,” which made it appropriate for those walking in the relay to wear cowboy hats and scarves.
    Relay representative and Director of Special Events for the American Cancer Society Utica office Steph Boucher said, “There are 23 teams and they have all worked very hard to fund raise and to get their teams ready for the event.” Boucher added with all the teams combined a total of 320 people were registered for the Dolgeville Relay For Life.
    Students, faculty and staff at Dolgeville Elementary School helped to raise money for Relay For Life during their own miniature relay during the week. Students participated in “Quarters for Cancer.”
    “Students from grades K-6 paid 25 cents for a paper chain link,” said Dolgeville Elementary School Principal Sue Butler, adding the chain links were personalized to remember a loved one who battled or died from cancer. The links were then connected into the “Chain of Hope” which was displayed and hung around the track for Relay For Life. Over 4,000 links were made for a donation total of $1,007.86 for Relay For Life, said Butler.
    Oppenheim-Ephratah Elementary School also conducted a miniature relay in which students made hand cut-outs for 25 cents and wrote the name of a loved one who had an experience with cancer. The hands were displayed around the track for everyone at Relay For Life to see. With the money earned from the cut-outs, the elementary school donated $260 to relay, said Boucher.
    Mary Iocovozzi, a candidate for Herkimer County District Attorney, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. After an 18-month regiment of intense chemotherapy, Iocovozzi won her battle against cancer. “I try to come to the relay every year because there is a special bond with those participate that have had an experience battling cancer. We have survived it, gone through it and came back fighting and I, as well as many others, am lucky and blessed to be here today.”
    Dolgeville High School Family and Consumer Science teacher Kathy Winkler fought breast cancer for all of 2010. She underwent three surgeries and eight weeks of chemotherapy. Winkler is now in remission and is happy to continue participating in Relay For Life, an event she has been involved in for over 15 years. Her relay teammate, Janet Ziroli, died from cancer. Ziroli battled cancer twice, but  lost her third battle with cancer. In her honor, Winkler now leads the team known as Janet’s Jewels.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I know she’s looking down on us today from heaven and I think she would be very proud of us,” said Winkler.
    Dolgeville native Nick Stacy is the person who is responsible for Dolgeville Relay For Life. Stacy said he moved back to Dolgeville after his mother died from cancer a few years ago.
    “It really bothers me to see so many people die so young from cancer, and I can’t stand back and watch,” he said, adding he decided to contact Boucher to see if the relay was a possibility.
    “Before I knew it the relay was approved by the school board,” said Stacy, adding this is the third year Dolgeville has been home to a Relay For Life. “This place is the only place that is home to me and I’m glad to be part of the Relay For Life here in Dolgeville.”
    Throughout the relay activities all types of entertainment were provided.
    The team known as The Mammas and The Pappas invited walkers to try their luck at chicken checkers. Stan Bilinski explained the game. “You pick a box number on the floor of the chicken pen and when the chicken relieves himself on the number, the person who choose that number is the winner,” he said. “It’s just a fun game that people can really laugh about.”
    All of the donations and funds raised were donated to the American Cancer Society.