Residents of Cole County made a giant step toward a cure for cancer June 7-8, walking through the night during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
More than 77 teams and community members came together during this year's Relay to raise in excess of $214,000. Money raised during Relay For Life helps fund the American Cancer Society's mission of eliminating cancer by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. The society is the largest nonprofit supporter of new cancer research and the largest voluntary health organization fighting cancer in our country and around the world.
"We appreciate all the support we received from each of the teams, as well as from our sponsors," said Tina Nutter, the 2013 event chair. "We are especially grateful to the many volunteers and their families for all of their hard work to make this event happen."
Although money is still being turned in, so far the Diamonds in the Sky team is the top fundraising team with more than $30,000 raised. The top individual is Gina Martin from the ETC team. She has raised more than $2,800.
Relay For Life is a family-oriented event where participants enjoy camaraderie, while also raising funds to support the activities of the American Cancer Society. Participants camp out and, when they are not taking their turn walking, take part in fun activities and enjoy local entertainment. Relay For Life also honors cancer survivors.
Cancer survivors kicked off the event at 6 p.m. June 7 by walking the first lap. The luminaria ceremony began at 10 p.m. with candles lighting the entire track in memory of those who've lost the battle to cancer and in support for those still fighting the disease.
Teams may continue to fundraise for this year's event through August. For more information about Relay For Life and how to become involved, visit Relayforlife.org or call the local office at 573-635-4839.