Applause for ‘Kid Captains’

Published 8:51 pm Monday, March 28, 2011

This year’s Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life already promises to be a wonderful event, just like all the ones before.

It will be at a new location, Bennett’s Creek Park, after outgrowing the field at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. It has garnered participation from many new businesses and organizations.

And it also has two newcomers signed on who are a little younger than the average volunteer, but no less involved.

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Joshua Glaser-Wirt, 12, and Morgan Phelps, 15, are two of the youngest team captains in this year’s Relay. Both were inspired by their fathers, who are currently battling cancer.

“I decided that if there was one thing I could do to make a difference, if another family doesn’t have to go through what my family went through, I would do it,” Morgan told me.

Joshua decided to make Relay for Life his mitzvah project, which Jewish boys who are getting ready to turn 13 do as a service to the community.

“It made me feel a lot better knowing that I’m helping other people that have cancer,” Joshua said.

It’s hardly unusual for Relay participants to be inspired by family or friends. One look around a Relay event anywhere will attest to that fact, as many walkers create personalized T-shirts, buttons, decorations and more to honor and remember their loved ones who have fought cancer.

What is unusual, for Relay and charity events in general, is to see teens not only so passionate about the cause, but also taking a leadership role among their family and friends to be a team captain.

I applaud these young people, as well as all Relay participants, for being willing to take a step toward the eradication of cancer. With Relay only a month and a half away, it’s time to get fundraising.