Second Annual St. John Relay for Life Celebrates More Birthdays February 11-12


The Second Annual American Cancer Society St. John Relay for Life is just around the corner and cancer survivors are invited to an exquisite and exciting dinner.
Team members and ACS volunteers across St. John are gearing up for the 18-hour event which kicks off on Saturday, February 11, at 4 p.m. and runs until 10 a.m. on Sunday, February 12. The event will feature music, dancing, games and more throughout the night in order to motivate teams to keep one member on the makeshift track in Winston Wells ball field at all times.

The all-night fundraiser is designed to drive home the message that “Cancer Never Sleeps” but the Relay for Life is also all about “Celebrating More Birthdays,” explained planning committee member Steve Yerger.

“It’s about hating cancer and celebrating more birthdays for everyone, cancer survivors and everyone,” said Yerger.

Each Relay for Life — ACS fundraisers are hosted in communities across the country — features a Survivor’s Dinner, which offers those who have beaten the disease along with one caregiver, a complimentary meal during the event.

Last year’s first annual St. John Relay for Life featured a luxurious Survivor’s Dinner complete with linen tablecloth, napkins and stemware. Cancer survivors and caregivers were served by volunteer waitstaff and enjoyed a scrumptious feast prepared by some of the island’s top chefs.

This year, Yerger — along with Tim Hanley — is planning a birthday party celebration for the Survivor’s Dinner. Out are the linen tablecloths and in are 10 food stations offering a slice of the bounty found on St. John, explained Yerger, a chef with St. John Catering/Mathayom Private Chefs.

“This year, the Survivor’s Dinner a is birthday party since our theme is Celebrating More Birthdays,” he said. “We’re going to have 10 stations with different types of food because we are also celebrating the melting pot that is St. John. So we’re going to have Caribbean food, and also barbecue and Asian food.”

Other food stations at the Survivor’s Dinner will feature Mexican cuisine, vegetarian fare, tapas and raw food, Yerger added.

“We’re also doing a clam bake thanks to Hank Slodden of Storage on Site,” he said. “Hank is supplying the event with oysters, lobsters and clams thanks to his brother-in-law on Martha’s Vineyard who has a hook up with that.”

Dinner will be a casual affair this year with the 10 food stations arranged in different styles and served buffet style, Yerger explained.

“This dinner is not about being fancy or fine dining, it’s about making great food that everyone can enjoy,” he said. “We’re going to have 10 different tables with 10 different stations and we’re hoping for some collaboration with different chefs. The other perk to having this style of dinner is that we were able to invite everyone to take part and we don’t have to cap that number really.”

Yerger has received confirmation from about 40 restaurants and caterers who have already signed on to provide fare for the event, he added.
“Everyone has been really supportive,” said Yerger. “All of the restaurants and caterers, even our competitors, have really stepped up to the plate for this event. Things are coming together really nicely.”

It’s still not too late to get involved with the dinner. Contact Yerger at or call 998-6417 to get involved with the Relay for Life Survivor’s Dinner. Cancer survivors are welcome to register for the dinner by contacting Beverly Biziewski at 776-6833.