2009 Relay for Life a huge success

By Mike Porter
Seven years ago, when Delaware County first decided to hold a Relay For Life, the offices of the American Cancer Society felt that a small rural county like Delaware could possibly raise $20,000 to $30,000 annually. In spite of predictions about amount of fund raising possible, the Delaware County Relay For Life has exceeded its goals each year.
This year, with a goal of $146,000, 53 teams with 786 participants began walking at about 6 p.m. Friday under beautiful sunny skies with warm temperatures.
The grounds are filled with activities to help in the awareness issues of cancer, healthy lifestyles, and cancer prevention. This year 187 cancer-free residents from the county and surrounding areas registered for the American Cancer Society’s “Cancer Prevention Study - 3. Money raised at relay events and other ACS fund-raising activities over the years fund this study. The ACS is looking to register 500,000 participants for this long-term scientific study.
The Relay participants sign up to walk around a grass track from 6 p.m. on Friday to about 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. This year participants were greeted with beautiful weather that was the best yet. Teams wear pedometers and some individuals use their own for the entire night. One woman walked 40 miles in the 14-hour event.
One of the teams participating in the Relay from the eastern part of Delaware County is the Country Cutting Gallery team sponsored by Kathy Johnson. Special activities held this year included a golf tournament at the Meadows, a ski race at Belleayre, waiting tables for tips at the T-Bar in Roxbury and at Oakley’s in Arkville.
Also the team made Christmas wreaths to sell, sold luminaries to honor and memorialize those surviving cancer or who have succumbed to the disease.
Many businesses sponsored cancer information signs displayed at the team tent at Relay. Some people simply donated money to the team in support for the cause.
The results of the year’s activities and fund raising were impressive. The Country Cutting Gallery raised over $19,000 as the top fund-raiser. Sidney Federal Credit Union followed them with $15,990 and the National Bank of Delaware County with $14,151. The total for the entire event was $147,094 eclipsing the goal set prior to the event. The significance of the goal was that by meeting its target, Delaware County’s Relay For Life has raised $1 million in its seven years of existence.