Battle of the Bay returns in Yarmouth

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YARMOUTH — The seventh Battle of the Bay triathlon will be held on Saturday, Aug. 14.

The race is a family-friendly way to raise money for the Evans Albert Spear Memorial Scholarship Fund, named after the Yarmouth High School graduate who died of Hodgkins lymphoma in 2004 at age 23.  

The race is not about fitness or athletic ability, coordinator Jared Connell said. It’s about fun, community and family.

Each participating team will have four members. One person runs two miles, one bikes four miles and the other two canoe three miles.

The course starts at the Cousins Island Bridge. Runners will race to the Cousins Island checkpoint and turn around. The bike loop is to Town Landing. There, the canoes will race into the harbor and back to the Cousins Island Beach.

After the race, there will be a lobster bake and awards ceremony. Anyone can attend the lobster bake without competing in the race for $40.

“Evans and I grew up together and we were very close,” Connell said. “This event is a way to help raise money for the annual $5,000 scholarship given out each year to a Yarmouth High School student.”

Spear was an All-American lacrosse player and an All-State hockey player, Connell said. The scholarship provides financial support for a local student who is interested in furthering their education, is involved in extra-curricular activities, could be interested in a career in a marine field, and like Spear, is a leader. Since it’s start, the fund has given $30,000 to high school students, he said.

In addition to the scholarship, Connell said the goal of the fund is to build an Evans Albert Spear House similar to the Cam Neely House in Boston. It will provide support for cancer patients between the ages of 17 and 25.

“Evans was the type of person to help other young people going through cancer,” Connell said. “We want to honor his vision and bravery with a place for young people to feel safe and supported.”

Each year the organization raises more money and the event grows, Connell said. 

“Friends, family members and local organizations have helped us to accomplish a lot in seven years,” he said.

Pre-registration for the triathlon is available at and the day of the event at 8 a.m.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or

Sidebar Elements

When Kent Pierce, right, of Yarmouth, was diagnosed with lymphoma, Dr. Lisa Belisle, left, organized a benefit called Kick Up Your Healin’.

Yarmouth: A community of support, compassion

YARMOUTH — Whether it is financial or emotional support, when friends and neighbors need help, the Yarmouth community has shown its willingness to help in extraordinary ways.

From triathlons and musical events, jewelry sales and art auctions, members of this town have a clear understanding of the meaning of the word community.

One of these events is the Battle of the Bay triathlon. Here are some others:

• When Kent Pierce, right, was diagnosed with a mantle cell lymphoma, Dr. Lisa Belisle and nearly 350 other friends threw him a benefit party called Kick Up Your Healin’. The May event was a way to raise money for the National Foundation of Cancer Research and to show Pierce support in a difficult time.

• The first Henry Fest was held in 2004 and was a way for Holly and John Williams to thank friends for their support during their son Ian’s five-year battle with cancer. After Ian’s death in 2003, John said the backyard party at the family farm became a way to celebrate community each year.

This year, the sixth annual Henry Fest will take place at Skyline Farm in North Yarmouth on September 12. All proceeds from the event benefit a scholarship fund at 317 Main Street Community Music Center.

• Sarah Johnson died of ovarian cancer at 41. She was a mother of three, wife and friend. Her husband Jeff Johnson said before she died, Sarah and their 8-year-old daughter Sally made jewelry with friends and family. After Sarah died, Sally continued the effort and Sally’s Blooming Hope was created.

Sally, now 13, has raised about $25,000 since 2006 for ovarian cancer research. She sells her jewelry at local retail stores and at community events.

With money generated from Sally’s Blooming Hope, the Johnson family was able to donate some to the Massachusetts General Hospital for a symposium at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. There, doctors and gynecological researchers gathered to discuss new studies and ongoing efforts in cancer research.

The family hopes to replicate the symposium in 2011.

• Danielle Torres, a rising Yarmouth High School senior, interviewed five families affected by cancer who have been supported by the Yarmouth community. In the video, the families share their stories and the importance of family, friends and community.

— Amy Anderson