PORTSMOTH — The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Relay For Life (RFL) team called the ‘Silent Lions,’ recently hosted a fundraiser at Gatti’s Pizza for a multitude of needs associated with the disease of cancer. Proceeds will be allocated towards the RFL event to be held June 17, at the Scioto County Fairgrounds.
Mary Alice Tanner serves as co-captain for the Silent Lions Relay For Life of the ACS. Tanner’s level of commitment to the ACS has everything to do with how her family has been struck numerous times by cancer.
“What we are doing today is raising money for the American Cancer Society through Gatti’s Pizza to help defray costs of the America Cancer Society,” Tanner said. “The reason I got involved is that cancer has tried totally and utterly to destroy the Tanner family. My father, my brothers, my uncles, and my aunt and some of my cousins have all died from cancer. These are the reasons that I stand today with the American Cancer Society.”
The Silent Lions RFL team is a combination of the enthusiasm for the cause of fighting cancer, the fact that the captain of their team, Linda Malizio, is deaf.
“The Silent Lions is one of the teams affiliated with the American Cancer Society. Our captain is Linda Malizio. The reason that we are called the Silent Lions is that Linda is deaf and we are Lions, which roar. Everybody on our team has their hearing except for Linda, so that is why we are called the Silent Lions,” Tanner said.
Lisa Knauff, owner of Gatti’s Pizza, said her establishment loves and is committed to the local community.
“We are a community based restaurant and we love our community. This is one way that allows us to help out by letting them come in and do a fundraiser,” Knauff said. “We would love to be able to donate to everybody, but this is one way that we can help by letting them come in here, work our tables for tips and do their fundraisers here at the table with their baked goods. We work with all kinds of organizations wherever there is a need.”
Knauff said she is grateful for the unity of the local community, which makes it all possible.
“I am just so thankful for our community. Without our community, we would not be here. So, we all work hand in hand,” Knauff said.
The Silent Lions team is currently composed of 10 members, including local college students.
“We have approximately 10 members on our team, and with those 10, Linda has students from Shawnee State and Ohio University in Ironton,” Tanner said.
Handcrafted magnets and homemade cookies designed by Malizio were among the items displayed on the table, and made available for purchase by customers to Gatti’s that evening.
“We have magnets, which Linda designed and made herself. We have cookies also designed and made by Linda, and they have ribbons on them,” Tanner said. “There is the purple ribbon, yellow, green, pink and red ribbon, and all of those Linda designed herself. We also have candy bars from the American Cancer Society and they are one dollar. We also have buckets here for donations and tips.”
All of the proceeds from the fundraiser will be submitted to the ACS and will go towards the RLF event to be held at the Scioto County Fairgrounds on June 17. She also said it is the largest cancer fundraiser worldwide.
“All of the funds collected today will go towards activities of the American Cancer Society, such as lodging, helping the appearance of women with cancer, providing empowering information such as books and online educational classes, personal health manager kits,”Tanner said. “The Relay For Life event on June 17 is where all of the relays come together at the Scioto County Fairgrounds in Lucasville. It the world’s largest fundraising event to end cancer.”
The gathering symbolizes vigilance in the fight to see cancer eradicated. Additionally, a variety of activities will take place during the June 17 event.
“What we do is unite as communities across the globe to fight this dreadful disease. We have several teams that go out to local schools, parks, and fairgrounds and we take turns walking around the track or path. Each team is asked to represent on the track all during the Relay For Life,” Tanner said. “Live entertainment will be provided. With the live music we have a lot of fun, with a lot of activities to keep things lively. What this does is symbolize the battle waged around the clock for those who are facing cancer.”
For more information, visit the ACS website at : www.cancer.org.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.