The 20th annual Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society was another huge success, as it not only again exceeded the six figure funds raised goal but also as attendees celebrated, remembered and fought back.
Hundreds of people from across the county, representing teams who were raising funds, survivors who were being honored and the public who came to support the event in their own way, gathered at the Gilfillan Estate Friday night to see the paths lined with luminaries – perhaps looking for the names of loved ones being remembered or even their own name as friends, family and strangers honored them – and to take part in the biggest annual fundraising effort in the fight against cancer.
Bob Manning admitted he was not sure how this year would turn out financially speaking, as there were changes implemented, but in the end estimates show the funds raised have easily exceeded $101,000.
Bailey Hansen, honorary chair, introduced herself as a 14-year cancer survivor and said she envisions a day when kids like her are not going to have to miss the first day of kindergarten because they are having chemotherapy and when people do not have to mourn the loss of a parent or spouse because of cancer.
Becca Krogstad, who is the pastor of a church just down the road from Gilfillan, held who she called her youngest parishioner and said Relay For life is about making sure there is a brighter future for that next generation.
Relay For Life is full of moving experiences for those who attend from a balloon release to the survivor lap, and prior to that lap each survivor is recognized by name and for the number of years they have survived cancer. There were more than 100 survivors who attended the 2013 Relay For Life. As is often repeated, the American Cancer Society is all about celebrating birthdays, and each Relay For Life event helps bring the world one step closer to celebrating more of those birthdays.
Many are recognized at Relay For Life, including those who have raised the most money. The top three teams were Banking on a Cure, Lori Eis captain, which raised $15,933; The Bobbers, JoAnn Dehncke captain, which raised $14,165 and The Grizzlys, Ann Rose and David Rose co-captains, which raised $9,104.
Individually, JoAnn Dehncke was the top fund raiser with $4,627, followed by Lori Eis, who raised $2,489 and JoAnn Robinson, who raised $2,379.