Sunday, April 3, 2016

Reflections on the 2016 Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay/Cutler Bay Relay for Life. Thank you ACS, participants, volunteers, Village and our YCIB

Alexandra and I had the honor to participate in the 2016 Pinecrest/Palmetto Bay/Cutler Bay Relay for life on Saturday, April 2nd. This year was particularly exciting for me as this marked the first year of participation for Palmetto Bay's first youth board, officially known as the "Youth Community Involvement Board" (YCIB). I have taken the liberty of posting various photographs taken throughout this day long event. 

First of all: Congratulations to the Palmetto Bay YCIB's "Team Toby Keith" at our Relay for Life.  You all worked hard and were very successful in raising money.  Your booth was outstanding.  Each of you worked hard and took on significant responsibility to make this event a success.

I am so proud of all of you:  Agnes Bartha, Tatum Rivera, Patrick Barber, Jacob Dewitt, Jacob Tisthammer, Katie Signori, Charles Noguera, Alexander Santana, Mark Merwitzer, Jackson Ribler, and Valentina Maldonado.

Below: The event itself started at noon, kicking off with a Welcome Ceremony and the team lap.  It was great to see all of the different groups represented on the track, especially all of the school groups. Everyone then took their turns walking the relay while bands and other groups performed for the crowds.
 Photos above from Team Toby Keith on the team walk!
The Team booth looked great - drinks and popcorn were sold to raise money for the cause. Council member Tin Schaffer (below left) was available to assist in the heavy lifting.

 Below - YCIB member - parents including Lynn Signori and Heather Rivera.  Also Pictured Coral Reef Elementary PTA President Erica Watts (above left) and Alexandra Flinn (below right, far right).
Pinecrest (above left) and Cutler Bay (below) were well represented as were Howard Drive Elementary, with a booth (manned the entire event by their Principal) and Coral Reef Elementary including performances by their JV & Varsity Cheerleaders.   
Team Cutler Bay - above
CRE Cheerleaders performing and their family members capturing the moments - family time!
Below - photos with Howard Drive Elementary Principal Deanna D. Dalby - below right with Palmetto Bat Parks Director Fanny Carmona
The most toughing moment came at 8 PM with the luminaria ceremony.  It is a humbling experience to read all of the names and messages surrounding the track.  Alexandra and I dedicated luminaria in honor of both our fathers, Rebecca Ribler, & Ofc Randy DiStefano. Seeing all of those individuals candles is always very moving for me.  As the American Cancer Society says, every candle has a name.  Thinking about all of the those families that have been affected by cancer in some way is just incredibly humbling.  

It’s such a powerful reminder of why everyone is out there doing, working so hard to make a difference. YCIB member Jackson Ribler gave a moving tribute to his mother, Rebecca, who lost her battle with cancer coming up on one year this month.  I had the honor of knowing as well as working for and with his mother Rebecca Ribler.  Her husband Larry is pictured below, lighting a luminaria with son Jackson.
The photo above right does not do the justice to Jackson's tribute to his mother.  If anyone has a better photo, please send it to me.  Thank you Jackson for sharing what this event meant to you; how much you mother meant and thank you YCIB members for your support for Jackson. 
Rebecca, Larry and Jackson Ribler.  Photo from the Council installation, December 1, 2014. We all miss you Rebecca. RIP.

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