Relay for life raises more than $25,000
Nearly $26,000 was raised over the weekend by 270 community members participating in the Relay for Life at Baker University's Liston Stadium.
The money will benefit American Cancer Society research and cancer victim assistance.
"This community is awesome," said Kim Christian, who will be a co-chair of next year's Relay for Life. "We really do raise a lot of money for the size of community we are. Everyone in the community steps up and is involved at some level."
Grace Vaughn, an organizer of this year's event, said participants raised $25,800 and more money is coming in.
"It went really well," said Vaughn, who added that last year's Relay for Life raised $32,000.
More activities were added to the Relay for Life this year, and Vaughn said the extra activity made it easier to make it through the night. From 6 p.m. Saturday to 7:30 a.m. Sunday, 28 teams walked, put on a talent show, decorated their tents, played games and participated in a luminary lighting ceremony. There was also live entertainment provided by Phat Albert, a band of Baker University students, and performances by dancers from Stacy's Dance Studio.
"All the activities kept it going all night," Vaughn said. "Last year it got kind of tiring at 2 or 3 a.m. because there wasn't anything going on."
Three of the 28 teams were from the community. The majority of the teams were affiliated with Baker University, composed of staff and students.
Christian, who received donations from about 80 people, collected $3,050 the most money by an individual. She won a 19-inch TV/VCR combination for her fund-raising efforts. Her team, the "Heartthrobs," raised the most of teams participating, over $5,000. Josh Hoffman, 7, collected $1,300 by placing flamingo yard ornaments in yards around town and requesting a donation to remove it. He also won the tent decorating contest with his flock of flamingos.
"So many people are affected by cancer," Christian said. "One of 80 people who donated to me was not affected by cancer whether a mother or father, friend or relative. It is so far-reaching."
Perhaps the most good-natured participant at the Relay for Life was the weather.
"The weather was beautiful," Vaughn said. "We could not have asked for a better day. We were out there in shorts."
Preparation will begin soon for next year's Relay for Life, and committee members are needed for next year. To volunteer, call Vaughn at 594-4553, Toniann Granzow at 594-3682 or Christian at 594-3150.