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Relay more than just a fundraiser

Last weekend has come and gone, and along with it another American Cancer Society East Otter Tail County Relay for Life, which by all counts was another successful event. Here are just a few counts that make it an amazing event.

Count one – More than 23 teams participated in the Relay, with anywhere from several people to more than a dozen walkers on several teams. Approximately 250 people attended the event.

Count two – By Monday, $86,544 had been collected, with $5,000 turned in from various fundraisers held at the relay. Teams raised money by offering massages, concessions, haircuts, classic car rides, games, creating wacky, colorful hairdos, and more. The money is used by the ACS to fund cancer research,

Count three – Money is still coming in, and organizers are hopeful the Relay will meet its $135,000 goal in the coming days. This year’s goal is about $7,000 more than last year, when donations exceeded the set goal.

Count four – The number of people who are surviving cancer keeps increasing, as evidenced during the Survivor’s Lap.

Count five – The American Cancer Society’s advocacy affiliate, the Cancer Action Network, exceeded its goal of 40 members by three during the Relay. Robianne Schultz of Perham is one of the state lead volunteers, which means she also attends national events to affect policy changes and to make cancer issues a national priority. Memberships help further the CAN’s mission.

Count six – The speakers, from guest speaker James Gardner, to the local honorary co-chairmen, Mike Parta and Gary Ebeling, shared inspirational stories and words of wisdom from their own personal journeys with cancer.

Count seven - Though at times somber, the overall atmosphere of the Relay for Life was one of hope and celebration, as research finds new medications to treat and beat cancer.

Count eight – The local Relay is well-organized by a committee of about 18 dedicated people; it’s a supportive and fun event to raise awareness of cancer issues and money to fight it, as well as help families on a cancer journey.

One way to support the Relay for Life in East Otter Tail County, if being on a team is not your thing, is to simply attend the event; family-friendly activities, along with food, are planned throughout the early evening. We encourage you over the coming year to consider donating to a team fundraising event, organize a team, or attend Relay night where you will see for yourself that it is really a celebration of life.

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