United to make a difference for cancer… One dreamer at a time

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NEW GLASGOW — Relay for Life has its Dream Team, again.

Ten members of the local community have agreed to combine their efforts to raise an extraordinary amount of funds for the 15th Relay for Life scheduled for June 6 at the North Nova Education Centre. The last time a Dream Team was formed in Pictou County was in the event’s fifth year.

Events like the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life Pictou County are designed to offer the local community a chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians impacted by cancer, with nearly one in two Canadians diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

Dream Team members gathered on Sunday for an official launch at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

Dream Team Captain Shannon MacLean, who chairs the planning and leadership committee, explained why she thought it would be a good idea to assemble the team again.

“Everyone of you is here because of a dream I had,” she said, referring to the passing last year of her father. “It was something that reminded me what the relay was about. He always said, ‘Dreams don’t work unless you do.’ So when I wanted to do something to make my dad proud and honour his memory I decided to bring a group of people together from our community to form the Dream Team 2020 for the Pictou County Relay For Life. Bring our community together to celebrate our survivors and honour the memory of our loved ones.”

MacLean said, “I am part of the Dream Team in memory of my dad, my father-in-law Brian, and my aunt Janet. All were soldiers of a war they lost. But not before teaching us all the true meaning of strength and a positive attitude.”

Besides MacLean, members include Meryl Kerr-Polley, Jon Sim, Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul, Brian Haines, Stacey Davidson-Murphy, Jason Conway, Jon Visser, Colin MacKinnon and Susan Weeks.

“For me, it means a lot, after my mom passed away,” Paul said. “This is something I can do for my mom, my community and the greater community.”

Kerr-Polley recalled loved ones who have passed away, which she said prompted her to take part.

“I thought I’d push myself out of my comfort zone and have some fun at the same time,” she said.

Conway said his many years of involvement with cancer and related projects made the dream team an opportunity for him.

“I don’t have a deep passion, but I always played my part for years,” he said. “This is a bigger role.”

The first Dream Team raised $78,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

A team fund-raiser has been scheduled for March 21 from 8 p.m. to midnight at Wranglers.

Dream team members are, from the left, front row: Shannon MacLean, Stacey Davidson-Murphy, Meryl Kerr-Polley and Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul. Back row: Jon Sim, Jason Conway, Jon Visser and Susan Weeks. Missing: Brian Haines and Colin MacKinnon. (Goodwin photo)