The gentle glow of luminaries lit the path along the track at Don Adamson Field. The light remembering and representing those whose fighting light shone in the darkness of their battles with cancer.
Shining even more light during Crow Wing County’s 20th annual Relay for Life event from noon to midnight on Saturday, was the support, shown by the number of volunteers and participants, and the amount raised to help benefit the American Cancer Society.
“I really admire and respect all the hard work that the teams and our sponsors put in to making this event successful,” said Sue Tiegs, community relations staff partner in the Midwest division of the American Cancer Society, based in Baxter, who estimated nearly 600 people and more than 300 volunteers from the Brainerd lakes area were a part of the relay. “Truly, from the bottom of our (American Cancer Society) heart, it’s amazing to see all that everyone did to make this event come together like it did.”
Tiegs said that the money raised this year surpassed last year’s relay, with net proceeds totaling $91,986 as donations continued to roll in on Monday for participants who missed the relay. For those in attendance for the 12-hour duration of Saturday’s event, a day full of activities in the fight back against cancer, beginning first with a welcoming and introduction of the 19 participating teams:
• Animals for Alex raised $1,161.20
• Baxter School Plus raised $4,670.04
• Brainerd Dispatch & Echo Publishing raised $780
• Brainerd Jaycees raised $1,495
• Brainerd Rotary raised $805
• Cure-Aiders raised $4,588
• Essentia (Judy’s) Angels raised $4,893.02
• Good Samaritans raised $1,192
• Hopeful Wings raised $2,224.70
• Katie’s Krew raised $1,040.50
• Movin’ for Susan raised $3,299
• Pure Energy raised $484.20
• Racin’ for Mason raised $1,290
• Relayers of the Caribbean raised $3,080.26
• Sonshine for Life raised $4221.42
• Sunrise Safari Team raised $2,2540.75
• The Only Hope raised $274
• Walgreen’s Walkers raised $1,032.55
• Walking Warriors raised $190
“These people (team members) had to put so much time in for this event,” said Tiegs, who is personally touched by cancer with her husband. “A lot of these people go year-round, doing team fundraisers and getting people to join their team.
“It’s great to have so many people in the (Brainerd/Baxter) community involved for the fight against cancer.”
A carnival, concessions and comedy and hypnosis show all played second fiddle to the relay. Starting with a survivors lap — where cancer survivors are invited to circle the track together in a celebration of their victories over cancer — teams then took turns going around the track until the midnight closing ceremony.
All in all, another successful event according to Tiegs.
“Relay for Life is the primary source for income for the American Cancer Society,” said Tiegs. “And it’s a community based event that goes on across the country. It’s an event that so much work is put into, that when it finally comes it’s almost always a success.”