Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Urbana resident takes lead in fight against cancer

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Tom Fedor⁄The Gazette
Alexis Bastis, 12, of Ijamsville, takes aim during the St. Ignatius Knights of Columbus free throw contest held at Centerville Elementary School in Urbana on Saturday evening. After two shoot-outs due to a tie with another competitor, Alexis advanced to the next competition for her age group. Others weren’t so lucky. shot.
Brenda Rayno, a seven-year breast cancer survivor, has decided to take a leading role in fighting cancer. She is this year’s chairwoman for Urbana’s Relay for Life committee.

Relay for Life is an international fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. During the event, teams walk continuously around a track, overnight, raising money to participate. The event usually includes a closing ceremony emphasizing the hope for a potential cure for cancer.

Rayno said last year’s Relay for Life was emotional for her.

‘‘I was so overwhelmed by the entire ceremony,” Rayno said.

Rayno said that her family has been deeply affected by cancer: her mother is a cancer survivor, and she lost her brother to the disease.

Her brother was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer at the age of 50, and died three weeks later.

‘‘Had he known and been educated in the symptoms, I know he would have been able to check it earlier,” she said.

She said the American Cancer Society, which hosts the Relay for Life fundraiser annually around the world, provides invaluable services to the community.

‘‘A lot of people don’t even know what the American Cancer Society does,” Rayno said.

The Urbana Relay for Life committee meets monthly, and meetings are open to everyone, Rayno said.

The next one is scheduled from 7-8 p.m., Feb. 12. All meetings are in the media center at Urbana Middle School. Additional meeting dates are March 11 and April 8.

The Relay for Life will kick off at 2 p.m., May 31 and conclude at 8 a.m., June 1.

To get involved in the Relay for Life, visit,, or contact Laurie Frey at 301-663-0733 or

Several earn degreesfrom Hood College

Several students from the area graduated from Hood College during a ceremony Jan. 15.

Those earning Bachelor of Arts degrees included: Nicole M. Berry and Margo C. Williams of Ijamsville; Leaora L. Wagner of Libertytown; and Andrea L. Clague and Megan E. Swanson of New Market.

Teresa A. Delisi of New Market graduated with a Master of Arts degree.

Mount Airy nativemakes dean’s list

Jonathan D. Brossart of Mount Airy, a student at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, has been named to the dean’s high honors list for the fall 2007 semester.

Any full-time student completing at least 15 credit hours with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in a given semester is recognized as a dean’s high honors list student for that semester, according to a press release.

Brossart, a Linganore High School graduate, is an international business management major.

Area studentscomplete nursing program

Thirty-one students recently graduated from Frederick Community College’s nursing program.

Graduates earned an associate degree in nursing, and may now take an exam to become registered nurses. The recent pinning ceremony for these graduates symbolizes their readiness to enter the workforce as professional nursing practitioners, according to a press release.

The graduates include Mimi Martin of New Market, Nedra Roberts of Mount Airy and Ingrid Saavedra of Urbana.

Saavedra was one of four students recognized for exemplary accomplishments.

She received the Director’s Award, which ‘‘recognizes perseverance, determination, courage, and strength in meeting the challenge of becoming a registered nurse,” according to the release.

For more information on Frederick Community College’s nursing program, contact Jane Garvin, professor and director of nursing education, 301-846-2525.

Do you have an item for News and Notes? Contact reporter Chris Brown at 301-846-2132, e-mail or fax news to 301-846-2124.