By Bill Schlicting

Pilot staff writer

More than 200 people walked the track at Brookings-Harbor High School Friday night and Saturday morning for the annual Relay for Life.

Eighteen teams signed up to participate in the event with 16 actually participating in the event. All together, the event raised more than $45,000 from fundraisers prior to the relay, as well as donations.

However, according to Wayne Baker, event chairman, the money was continuing to pour in on Tuesday. When the totals were announced during the closing ceremony Saturday morning, team members were still awaiting pledges and the proceeds from the silent auction and the general store had not been tallied.

andquot;I'm positive we're going to break $50 (thousand),andquot; Baker said.

Last year the event garnered $52,000. Based on this total, Baker said this year's goal was set for $65,000. He said although the contributions were down from last year, it is also a reflection of the national economy as donations are down at Relay for Life events all over the country.

Baker added that he is andquot;very happy with what we got.andquot;

Teams that brought in the most money wereChetco Pharmacy and Gifts,$5,884; Fred Meyer team No. 2, $5,013; California Misfits, $4,000; The Walking Fools, $3,585; and Sutter Coast Health Center, $2,815.

Top individual participants were Baker, $2,405; Shirley Hicks, $1,671; Oni Shaw, $790; Sue Rankin, $756; and Tammy Pope; $610.

Fred Meyer was the top corporate donator, giving $6,904.

All of the proceeds are sent to the American Cancer Society and used nationwide. Local people benefit when grants are received. Grants are used for education, prostheses and other needs for cancer patients.

The relay began Friday with cancer survivors taking the first lap around the track followed by a reception. After the survivor lap, team members spent the next 14 hours taking turns walking around the track.

Each time a team member completed a lap, the walker carrying the baton received a token. The team from Town and Country Animal Clinic gathered the most tokens - 185.

Entertainment and activities took place all night, giving team members more to do than walking around the track or resting around their decorated campsites on the football field.

Highlighting the night was the lighting of the luminaria lining the inside of the track. Several luminaria were arranged on bleachers to spell the word andquot;Hope.andquot; Each bag with a candle inside had the name of a cancer survivor or someone whose life was taken by the disease.

Relay participants were given candles and walked the track as the names on the luminaria were read.

The event ended with breakfast served followed by the closing ceremony. Participants gathered in the stadium as prizes were given and winners honored.

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