Relay Raises $76,000
The Marshall County Relay For Life celebrated its number one ranking in the country in 2016 by tacking at least another $76,000 to its 18-year fundraising total on Saturday.
Money was still coming in but $76,000 had been tallied as of Tuesday afternoon. That bumped up the total funds raised to help fund cancer research since the event began in the year 2000 to $1,264,524.
The Relay was held in Lake City this year because there was no indoor facility at Hugh Schilling Field in Britton after the Kidder Gym was torn down. Indoor activities were held in the Community Center and the live auction was held at the Lake City Municipal.
“It worked well to have it at Lake City, and it is still mindboggling when the totals come in,” said co-chair Carol Jones. “We live in a wonderful community, that’s for sure.”
Cancer survivors led a parade down Lake City’s Main Street that included about 15 entries. Survivors released the traditional purple and white balloons following the parade.
“The Community Center was full of survivors and included many new people that we haven’t had there before,” noted Jones. “Recognizing those survivors is one of the more important parts of the Relay, and that was wonderful.”
The live auction was something new this year and raised $6,735 for a wide variety of items. Bingo was also a new activity and received well.
Attendees also participated in bean bag golf, minnow races, and listened to Raw Sugar and Blair Olson. There was also a silent auction held and plenty of food available.
Luminaries were purchased to recognize cancer survivors, caregivers, and those who had lost the battle to cancer. The Relay concluded with the reading of luminary names and a candlelight ceremony.
“We were all uptight about the weather and moved the live auction inside,” noted Jones. “But the way the weather turned out the wind went down and we were able to light the luminaries for the first times in several years. God took care of us.”
Ten teams participated in Saturday activities with other teams also raising funds for the event.
“I heard comments that this was the most fun Relay we’ve ever had,” said committee member Jan Foster. “Being first in the nation last year, we wanted to make it a celebration and have a good time, and hopefully everybody did. We have such a great group to work with and everyone does their part and pulls it together. We all feel very strongly about raising money for such a good cause.” Foster said the results of cancer research are evident.
“Our cause is to make life better and help people live longer, and the only way to do that is to raise money for research. New treatment is allowing people who are taking treatments to actually function and not be so nauseated and worn out. They can actually live their lives.”
Cleo Symens, who has served as co-chair with Jones since the event began, was impressed by community support for the Relay once again.
“People rise to the occasion,” said Symens. “I’m always totally amazed at the amount of money that comes in. This is a very giving and caring area. And the reason for the Relay hit home again this week when we had two cancer deaths and the captain of one of our teams had melanoma surgery. We’re just grateful for everyone that gives and takes part, and we’d like to thank Lake City for all its help.”
Next year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 9. The location has not yet been determined.