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(Macon, MO) — Residents of Macon County made a giant step toward a cure for cancer on June 14, 2014 when they walked throughout the evening during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. The event just happened to take place on the 30th anniversary of the first Relay event in Tacoma, Washington.
A total of 17 teams and 170 participants came together during this year’s Relay to raise in excess of $43,692. Money raised during Relay For Life helps fund the American Cancer Society’s research, education, advocacy and service programs. The American Cancer Society is the largest nonprofit supporter of new cancer research and the largest voluntary health organization fighting cancer in our country. “We appreciate the amazing support from the community this year through sponsorship & participation. We went out and asked many groups to form teams and help us achieve some pretty high goals,” said Modeste Ewing, Event Chairperson. “We experienced a very pleasant response from the public and the size of our event grew by 7 additional teams and approximately 70 more team members over last year’s event. We also exceeded our fundraising goal, which was $30,000, by raising over $43,692 and still counting.”
This year’s top fundraising teams include a new team as the top fundraiser. Onshore Outsourcing formed a team a few short months ago and raised $7,434.14. The 2nd place team is ConAgra, raising $6,024.30 and 3rd place team this year is David Fiedler Agency – American Family raising $4,644.00. According to Ewing, more funds are expected to be turned in during the coming weeks as teams finalize invoices and other donations are collected. Ewing says the committee expects to reach near $45,000.00 in the coming weeks prior to finishing the 2014 event activities.
Relay For Life is a family-oriented event where participants enjoy the camaraderie while also raising funds to support the activities of the American Cancer Society. Participants campout and, when they are not taking their turn walking or running, they take part in fun activities and enjoy local entertainment. Relay For Life also raises awareness about cancer by honoring cancer survivors.
The Relay began its official ceremonies at 4:00pm at the Macon R-1 School’s Front Lawn. At 6:00pm, the opening ceremony was held and approximately 40 cancer survivors kicked off the event by walking the first lap. During the evening, Jennifer Gordon was recognized as Macon County’s Hero of Hope. Jennifer has been a volunteer with the Relay For Life for several years and was diagnosed with cancer not long ago. She continued to help with the event this year by hosting the Fight Back Ceremony late in the evening.
The Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00pm illuminated the entire track as participants lit Luminaria candles in memory of those who’ve lost the battle to cancer and in support for those still fighting the disease. Approximately 501 Luminaria were sold at this year’s event, up from 393 last year. After the ceremony, there was a team “Sing It” competition held where teams performed TV show theme songs on stage, dressing as characters to match their theme. Onshore Outsourcing took first place with Green Acres while David Fiedler Agency took 2nd place performing Laverne & Shirley and Tiger Country Realty was awarded 3rd place for their version of Gilligan’s Island. Honorable Mention was also given to two teams, Macon Jaycees performed The Flinstones and ConAgra performed The Jetsons. According to Event Co-Chair and Entertainment Chair, Brenda Tuttle, “every team had a great skit with really interesting and amusing costumes making the choice difficult for the anonymous judges.”
At the closing ceremony, teams received recognition for their hard work and fundraising achievements. There was much celebration as the final numbers were announced and all of the teams learned they had not only achieved but exceeded the fundraising goal. A wrap up celebration for teams and committee members will be held on July 10, 2014.
For more information about Relay For Life and how to become involved, call the American Cancer Society’s 24-hour help line at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the Web site at www.cancer.org. The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service.