Wilton Teens Skip Prom to Fight Cancer

WILTON, Conn. – Three Wilton High School girls gave up their junior prom to walk the track at Relay for Life on Friday night.

Although they may have started participating in Relay for Life to hang out with their friends, they kept doing it for the cause. “It’s really fun for us, getting to hang out with your friends but also be able to contribute a little bit,” said Emily Friedman.

And so far, their team, Pretty in Purple, has raised $5,300 for cancer research. They started fundraising last October, and they have done it as a group through bake sales, babysitting, a tag sale and more bake sales.

During one bake sale, Kelsey Tecce said a man came to their table and told them how much he appreciated what they were doing because his wife had just been diagnosed with cancer.

“When you hear things like that, you’re like, 'That’s what we’re working toward.' We’re working so that no one has to get news like that,” Tecce said.

One member, Sarah Ploss, said she is walking at the relay for her grandmother, who died from cancer last August.

“It’s such a universal thing. No one gets through unscathed,” Friedman said. The first year Friedman participated, she said that during the Luminaria ceremony she realized that had her father not survived his own battle with cancer, she wouldn’t be here. And that brought home the message of raising awareness for cancer research.

When it comes to the evening of the relay, however, they get to have fun with all the overnight activities planned. But they will always have at least one person walking on the track, because they said, that’s the whole reason for the event.

Other groups, including the Ladies of Open House, won’t be staying overnight but are participating in other ways. Karen Turner works at the Open House Gift Shop in Wilton and said the team of 12 has raised about $1,900 and hope to raise more with a raffle.

The store has two employees who survived cancer and Turner said creating a team “was to celebrate their conquering it and to raise money to help fully find a cure.”

If you want to cheer on your team, the relay starts at 6 p.m. Friday at the high school track. Donations to the event can be still be made here.

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