Daughter jumps in to help mom sing National Anthem

A Milford mother and daughter duo performed the National Anthem at this year’s Relay for Life at Jonathan Law High School: Kerry Lambert took the high notes, and her daughter Abby, 15, harmonized on the low notes.

They didn’t plan the duet. They rehearsed on the drive to the event Saturday. It was the first time they sang together in public.

Kerry, a music teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Fairfield, formerly at St. Ann School in Miford, has been involved with Relay for Life for a number of years. This year, she was asked to sing the National Anthem and readily agreed.

But being a teacher means that start of the school year makes one prone to colds: Kerry had been battling one for several days, and said it felt worse Saturday morning.

It was about 9 a.m., four hours before opening ceremonies, that Kerry approached her daughter.

“She said would you sing for me?” said Abby, a student at St. Joseph High School, who has started singing in her own right.

Abby said “no,” but said, “I’ll sing with you.”

They rehearsed on the drive over, working to figure out the right keys for each of them to sing — one key was too low and adjustment was needed.

They took the podium at about 1:30 to sing the National Anthem before a large crowd of students, city officials and cancer survivors.

The crowd thanked them with a round of applause. 

Kerry Lambert said she got involved with Relay when several family members were battling cancer.

Relay for Life is an annual event that raises money for and awareness of cancer.

“My aunt, my niece and a friend had cancer and Gina Vetter, our captain, said to our group of friends, ‘circle of friends, it’s time to put a team together.

“We all jumped in and have been doing Milford Relay for years,” Lambert said.

Abby had just started walking when they first got involved in Relay, and when she was old enough, she and Vetter’s son Daniel formed their own team.