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6/20/2013 3:00:00 PM
100 years of fighting cancer: Relay for Life event raises $27,000 so far
Sisters Sue Turner (left) and Faye Snyder walk the park square in the Relay for Life.
Sisters Sue Turner (left) and Faye Snyder walk the park square in the Relay for Life.
Participants in the Survivors Walk.
Participants in the Survivors Walk.

Switzerland County's Relay for Life was last Friday, but they're still raising money for the American Cancer Society. "This is the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society, so I'd like to make a big impact with the final total," said Marilyn Head, who was chairman of this year's Switzerland County event.

The participation and the fund-raising total was down from previous years.

Marilyn Head said Tuesday that the tally is currently at $27,000. "That is awesome for a little town like Vevay," she said, although it's lower than last year's mark that was at $50,000 after the event.

This year was more challenging because they lacked a local chairman, and Marilyn Head, community representative for the American Cancer Society, was called upon to take over as chairman. "I stepped up and ran the show. It is difficult and challenging" for her because she lives in Columbus. "This was my first time in Switzerland County, but everyone was so helpful" and she's enjoyed being a part of the community.

Still, Marilyn Head said it's important to have local leadership. "We're looking to build the committee and have someone take over for next year," she said. Local leadership "makes a huge difference in the community because you know people in the community. People would rather deal with someone local they know and they trust. It really does make a difference," she said.

Patty Chase has been involved in Relay for Life since it began, and noted that "even though it was down in attendance, we still had a good time and it was a really good event."

Glenda Sullivan, also involved since the start, was most moved by the luminary service. Everyone has the opportunity to purchase a luminary candle in honor of someone battling cancer or who has overcome cancer, or in memory of someone who has passed away after fighting the disease. Lit luminary buckets wrapped with a personal message were lined up around the square, and after the lights of the park were turned off, the names of everyone who had a luminary purchased for them were read. Those reading the names at this year's event were Roy Duckworth, Tye Sullivan, Dr. Robert Findley and Wayne Daugherty. "It was an emotional time," said Glenda Sullivan.

The Survivors Dinner, which had sponsorship help from Switzerland County Farm Bureau, was also held Friday with persons who had battled cancer or are currently battling cancer in attendance. After the dinner, the event began in Paul Ogle Park with the first lap dedicated to cancer survivors and cancer warriors. Teams began walking around the park square in a relay fashion, and continued through the night. Participating teams included Strikers Bowl 3 C's, Patriot Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary, Florence and Friends, Fishing Buddies, Cancer Fighting Christians, Jefferson-Craig Elementary, Rediscover, Friendship State Bank, MainSource Bank, Angela Grubbs team, Lenni Warriors, Riverview Homemakers and Moorefield Community Fire Department. "The teams pulled together and made it a lot more fun," said Marilyn Head.

There was also $1,500 raised in the auction with Bob Owings as the auctioneer with the help of a team from MainSource Bank.

Other activities included a basketball game, cornhole tournament and photo booth. There was also homemade ice cream to be enjoyed.

This year's Relay for Life event may be over, but Marilyn Head said the "fund-raising is not done. It's not too late to donate to the Cancer Society's Relay for Life." Donations will be counted toward this year's event through August 31st.





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