Twelve teams gathered at the Brookings-Harbor High School football field Friday night for an all-night track event.
Stanley Meier shares a book while visiting with Allison Kelley, Relay for Life grand marshal. The Pilot/Bill Schlichting
The relay wasn’t to find the best athlete, but rather to support the real winner of the event – the American Cancer Society.
During the annual Relay for Life, nearly $15,000 was added to the $27,000 the teams raised in the weeks prior to the event.According to Event Chair Wayne Baker, the 2009 total raised was $41,000. On Monday, the money raised from the silent auction had not been counted, but was estimated to be between $1,300 and $1,400.
Teams raising the most funds were led by Allison Kelley and Baker. Rhonda Gardenheir, Baker and Kelley were individuals who raised the most money.
The 15-hour Relay for Life begin at 7 p.m. with opening ceremonies that included Brookings Mayor Larry Anderson delivering a proclamation. His talk was followed by the introduction of Kelley, the youngest person to receive the grand marshal title since the event began in Brookings in 1998.
Kelley will begin her senior year at Brookings-Harbor High School in September. She was treated for Stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center pediatric clinic in 2006.
Also speaking were Astra Gabriel, a three-time cancer survivor, and Yvonne McDonald of the American Cancer Society.
Speeches were followed by a host of cancer survivors taking the first lap around the track while holding their Relay for Life banner. Not all of the survivors could walk. A few took the quarter-mile trek in wheelchairs.
Once the lap was completed, the teams were introduced as they began their all-night walk around the track.
Of the 12 teams, two consisted of high school students. One of those teams – Katelyn’s Krew – recorded more laps around the track than any other team. The team made 226 laps around the track. In order to achieve this, Baker said the team members did a lot of running.
However, one person walked 32.5 miles during the night. Sam Dotson, a retired Brookings police officer, logged 130 laps, Baker said.
The event wasn’t all about walking the track. At 10 p.m. the lights were turned off so people could see the luminaria lining the perimeter of the football field. Each luminarias, a bag with a candle, was in memory of a cancer victim or in honor of a survivor. One luminaria honored actress Farrah Fawcett, who recently died of the disease.
The night also featured games, contests and an abundance of food at the campsites on the field. Musicians provided entertainment. When a musician was not available, music was provided by a disc jockey.
People who would like to be involved in the 2010 Relay for Life may contact Debi Svaren at the American Cancer Society’s Medford office at 877-221-3073 or 541-779-6092.