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Sisters (And Hoover Grads) Join Forces to Organize Relay for Life Event

Cece and Heather Ramsey are two Hoover High School graduates doing good outside North Canton; they've teamed up to organize a Relay for Life event at Lipsomb University in Nashville.

If you ask Cece and Heather Ramsey what it's like to organize an event together, you might hear pretty similar stories from the sisters: each couldn't do it without the other.

The siblings — both Hoover High School graduates — have teamed up to organize a Relay for Life event at Lipscomb University in Nashville, where they both attend school.

"I've been around her for 18 years of my life, so I know her ins and outs, and we work well together," said Heather, a 2012 Hoover grad and freshman majoring in nutrition. "When she needs something done, I can get it done. And she knows I'll do the same for her."

Cece, a 2010 Hoover grad and junior majoring in French and history, feels the same way about her little sister.

"We're on the same wavelength," Cece said. "We have the same opinion on things. It's like having twice the brainpower and manpower."

Cece is executive director of the 12-hour event backed by the American Caner Society. Heather is the director of food and hospitality. Participants raise money before the 12-hour event and then walk throughout the night and into the morning (from 7 p.m.-7 a.m.), with one person from a team on the track at all times.

"The reason it's an all-night event is it's supposed to symbolize the fact cancer doesn't sleep, and the people affected with such a terrible disease have to go through it all through the day, all through the night," Heather said.

So far, more than 40 teams have signed up for the sisters' event, and they've raised more than $10,000. The hope is to have about 50 teams registered and to raise about $50,000.

Just a couple weeks till the event and the sisters say they're optimistic about hitting that goal. With college Relay for Life events, most money is raised in the final weeks leading up to the event. Or, as Cece puts it, "College students procrastinate, I guess."

Neither has played such a large role in a Relay for Life event until now. For the girls, it's taken a personal turn. This past year, their mother, Tam Ramsey, had been diagnosed with skin cancer, and they've known others in their lives, too, who've been affected.

"Heather had a friend in high school who had cancer," Cece said. "And I've always said if there's one person who I could meet, it'd be my great-grandpa. Unfortunately I never had a chance to because he passed away from cancer."

The event will feature a section of luminaria dedicated to North Canton residents who've been touched by cancer.

Cece said it was important for the two sisters to pay tribute to those in their hometown.

"I guess for Heather and I, it's sort of hard being away from home when we're used to being a big part of our community in North Canton," she said. "Our community has helped us so much along the way; we wanted to give back. The luminaria are a way to celebrate those who are fighting cancer right now, but most importantly they're a memorial to those who've lost their lives to cancer."

Those interested in purchasing a luminaria in honor of a loved one can do so on the Relay for Life Lipscomb page here. A North Canton donor will match the money raised from North Canton. 

Alan Dolan January 17, 2013 at 08:04 PM
It's great to hear that Cece and Heather are getting involved early in life with Relay For Life to Remember, Celebrate, and Fight Back. This volunteer-driven, staff-supported, 18 or 24 hour event is the American Cancer Society's highest fundraising activity. Locally, people interested in participating, or learning more about Relay, can go to www.relayforlife.org; or, contact the local event chairs. There are Relays held in Stark County in Lake, Canton, Massillon, and Jackson Township. Jackson Township's event is June 7-8, 2013 at Rick Neitzelt Stadium. The event co-chair is Alan Dolan, leealandolan@yahoo.com. ACS can provide the contact information for other event chairs.

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