Thoughts By Natalie

Relay For Life

If there is one gift my mother has (which was not passed along to me), it is certainly fundraising. She’s been raising money for American Cancer Society through Relay For Life for nearly a decade, and I love that about her. Sadly, most of us have been affected by cancer in some way, and that’s what makes this event so relevant.

Since this year marks American Cancer Society’s 100th anniversary, and the 20th year of the Relay For Life of Greater Gardner that my mom participates in (the #1 Relay in New England, and #4 in the world), I thought I’d share a little bit about how you can help with this great cause…

My Aunt Paula, a 7-year cancer survivor!

So many people I love have fought against cancer—my grandfather Clyde, my Aunt Paula, my Aunt Leslie and my father-in-law Jon, just to name a few. Sadly, only one of those people is alive today (my Aunt Paula), which means that there is still a lot of work to be done in finding a cure for cancers of all kinds.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) calls themselves the “official sponsor of birthdays,” based on their mission to add years to cancer patients lives through better treatments, and one day, a cure. Relay For Life is an arm of ACS that helps raise awareness, create community involvement and of course, raises funds. Every Relay For Life event looks a little like this:

  • Organized, overnight community fundraising walk
  • Teams of people camping out around a track
  • Members of each team taking turns walking around the track
  • Food, games and activities providing entertainment and building camaraderie

Since all donations go to ACS, it’s important to know what the organization’s focus is:

“At the American Cancer Society, we don’t just focus on one type of cancer or one way to combat the disease. Our work covers the entire spectrum of the cancer fight, from prevention and early detection, to support during treatment, to end-of-life care and quality of life after a cancer experience. We’re not just a research-focused organization—although that’s a key part of how we save lives. We’re working as a global institution to bring cancer under control in this century.” (2012 American Cancer Society Stewardship Report)

My mom’s team is called “Herbey’s Harem,” a playful name which speaks to her dad’s name, Herbey, and the fact that my mom is one of 9 children—7 of which are girls! Any donation is appreciated, whether it be a monetary donation or a donation to a raffle. They do 20 theme baskets, and mostly likely any item that is donated could be put in one of the theme baskets.

My Memere (grandmother) and my mom—two beauties!

To make a credit card donation, click here and follow instructions. If you wish to donate an item for one of the theme baskets, you can mail to the following address:

Team Herbey’s Harem, Attn: Susan Horne
c/o 27 Jeannette Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420

Feel free to email my awesome mom, Susan, at if you have any questions about donation items or specific needs.

The event takes place on Friday, June 7 and I couldn’t be more proud of all of the hard work my mom and her team have done yet again to raise money for this cause. Thanks in advance to all of you who support her team!

How has cancer impacted your life or the lives of those you love?

P.S. Relay For Life of Greater Gardner is my featured cause this month! If there is a nonprofit you want to raise awareness about, I’d love to help you out by having you as my featured cause in future months. See “Featured Cause Spot” on the advertising page for current pricing and details >>

Photos taken by my mom and me at the Relay For Life of Greater Gardener over the years.

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