The hand-made standard that will be the centerpiece of the 2011 South County Relay For Life Team “The Merry Men” is an amazing collaboration of effort from several community members, and a testament to teamwork and passion for finding cures to cancer.
According to Merry Men Team member Pamela Burlingame, the idea for the banner was born at a coffee meeting between she and team members Cynthia Field, Eileen Singer, Debra Chernick, and other members.
“We were talking about [Relay For Life] and we started talking about what kind of banner, or what we would do or wear, just spit-balling ideas,” Burlingame said. This year’s Relay For Life is fairy-tale themed, and with Patch in the mix with the Merry Men a classical “Robin Hood” theme was born.
“Lee and I went back to her house, got pictures together at dinner one night and made it into a tree,” Burlingame said. According to her, the hand-made quilted and painted banner took between 12 and 20 hours to complete. Using pink ribbons for leaves of the tree, Burlingame used other ribbons of green and brown to simulate organic pieces of the tree. Upon its boughs, over 40 names represent those known to the team as cancer survivors, or sadly those who have passed on because of the disease.
“It was a group effort, not just one person,” Burlingame said. To hold the banner during Relay, she added that craftsman Adam Levinson will lend his talents to build a wooden framework.
Once completed, the banner made its way to the front window of the Law Offices of Debra Chernick, also a member of the Merry Men Relay for Life Team, until today. According to Chernick its presence has been a direct impetus for several donations off the street.
“I’m so glad Deb was able to hang it in her window,” Burlingame said.