On Sunday, May 19, kites will soar over Hampton Beach, bringing people together to celebrate those who have been affected by cancer.
An annual event, Kites Against Cancer holds a special place in Tammy Symons’ heart.
“My mother passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2010, and she had such a love for the beach and ocean, so being able to fly a kite in her memory at this event brings us great peace. We look forward to it every year,” Symons said.
The event is hosted by Exeter Hospital’s Beyond the Rainbow Fund.
“As cancer has unfortunately impacted the lives of so many, the vision behind Kites Against Cancer is not only to honor and remember those affected by this horrible disease, but also as a way to bring our community together and celebrate life and hope,” said Carrie Shaw, who is the sister of Beyond the Rainbow Fund founder Anne-Marie Viviano.
Viviano began the fund in 2002 to help cancer patients overwhelmed by practical expenses such as rent and utility bills, wigs and other needs. The Kites Against Cancer event started in 2005 and became an annual happening by 2010 — one year after Anne-Marie Viviano died after a 14-year bout with breast cancer.
“The kites symbolize love, hope and healing for our community and those affected by cancer,” said Eileen McDonald, director of the Center for Cancer Care. “Flying kites on the beach has become a very inspirational and healing experience for many community members over the years.”
Those who want to participate will meet at the Hampton Beach Oceanfront Pavilion at noon.
The event is open to the whole community, and people can purchase a kite from Exeter Hospital’s gift shop or front desk for $10. All proceeds go to the Beyond the Rainbow Fund.
On Tuesday, June 4, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. there will also be a Cancer Survivors Block Party for survivors, family and friends at the Center for Cancer Care at Exeter Hospital. It will feature food, live music, face painting, games and more.
For more information on these events, or to learn how to donate or volunteer with the Beyond the Rainbow Fund, visit unitedinwellness.org or call 580-6668.
— Mike Costello