Area residents and other supporters helped 13 Relay teams collect $58,970 for the American Cancer Society this year. Team members will continue to collect donations through Aug. 31.
"I am very pleased with this year's event," said Carol Craig, South Barry County Relay For Life chair. "We had a minor set back with the weather but the teams that had campsites destroyed by the storm jumped in and got everything going without giving it a second thought.
"Our American Cancer Society staff partner, Trent Chance, was very impressed at how we all worked together to accomplish a very successful event despite the weather," said Craig.
The 2010 Relay For Life began with the celebratory Survivor Lap, which attracted over 35 cancer survivors. Community members gathered to cheer on those who have won the battle with cancer as they completed the first lap around the stadium track.
"As I watched little 3-year-old Shawn Craig lead the Survivor Lap with her mom holding her hand and grandpa pulling the wagon and holding the torch I completely forgot about my recent battle with cancer and was overwhelmed once again with why we need to continue in our fight against cancer," said Craig, who battled breast cancer earlier this year.
The honorary Survivor Lap kicked off an assortment of Relay festivities including "Minute To Win It" competitions, musical entertainment, a martial arts demonstration, a basket auction, a dance performance, theme laps and an assortment of other games and activities.
At dusk, hundreds of luminarias, which were purchased in honor of those who have lost their battle or are still battling cancer, were lit along the edges of the track. A slideshow featuring the names and photos of friends and loved ones was shown during the solemn ceremony.
The annual Relay For Life drag queen contest was held near midnight. Eight men donned costumes and a great attitude to help their teams collect extra funds for this year's Relay.
After entertaining the Relay crowd by dancing around the track, the queen contestants collected money from the audience. "Makayla Holy Moly," collected $1,506 for Mz. Trippo's Cancer Cleaning Service and was crowned this year's winner.
During closing ceremonies on Saturday morning, the Fasco team was recognized as the team that raised the most funds this year. The team collected $9,328.94 for the Relay.
Vicky Harp, of the Lighthouse of Hope team, was recognized as the individual who collected the most money. She raised $1,330 for the event.
Mz. Trippo's Cancer Cleaning Service earned the award for the most laps walked by a team, and Paula Depew was recognized as the individual who walked the most laps during the Relay.
Other awards presented during closing ceremonies included: Team Spirit, The Pink Princesses; Top Luminaria Sales; Mz. Trippo's Cancer Cleaning Service; Rookie Team of the Year, Lakeview Dream Makers; Individual Spirit, Depew; Funkiest Campsite, Shell Knob Warriors; and Up and Coming Team, Lakeview Dream Makers.
Teams that raised over $1,500 and reached the bronze fundraising total this year included: Fleet of Feet, $1,924; Roughriders For a Cure, $1,560.94; The Pink Princesses, $2,458.29; Shell Knob Warriors, $2,718.20; and Lakeview Dream Makers, $2,535.10.
Freedom Bank raised $4,330 and reached the silver fundraising level.
The following teams raised over $5,000 and reached the gold fundraising level: Mercy Miracles, $6,680.75; Mz. Trippo's Cancer Cleaning Service, $5,955; Lighthouse of Hope, $8,552; and Fasco, $9,328.94.
Other teams that participated in this year's event were: Lake Bloomers, Exeter FFA and Victory Walkers.
The 2010 Relay For Life Committee members were Craig, Tracy Roney, Anita Fare, Kathy Petersen, Tara Beck, Rhonda Stafford, Diana Etter, Tammy Willis, Sue Beck, Gail Megura, Julie Grillone, Jean Sturgell and Marcia Himes.