Quad County Relay For Life a success

Preliminary reports for the results of the 2009 Quad County Relay For Life event on Saturday, June 13, show that over $50,000 was raised for cancer awareness and research to help find a cure for cancer.

The 17 teams were joined by over 300 other participants during the evening. The overcast sky offered a comfortable day, with a light sprinkle during the evening and a rain that came at the event's closing time at midnight.

Opening ceremonies were followed by four speakers. American Cancer Society representative George Larson, Rapid City, thanked everyone for their hard work, time and generosity. Using some dry humor, Sylvia Snook, age 99, then talked of her fight against cancer. June Huston, mother of three-year-old Sarah, told of the trials concerning Sarah's eye cancer. Marlis Doud, event coordinator, told of her fight with breast cancer. Doud said that family, friends and faith were her support.

Survivors attending the relay were named and presented medallions. They then traveled over the specially built Bridge of Hope, following the 2009 theme for the Quad County Relay. Survivors who could not appear in person were named and their medallion was presented to a representative standing in as a "virtual survivor." The first official lap of the relay evening was the Survivors' Lap.

The walking route up and down Philip's Center Avenue was lined with luminaries. Later in the evening, the nearby street lights were turned off and the candles in the paper-bag luminaries were lit. Names of cancer survivors, and names of those who have passed away though are remembered, were solemnly read aloud as hundreds of people walked the candle-lit route.

Music soloists, duets and choirs entertained as the crowd walked laps. At different points during the evening, fun laps were held i which teams were judged and awarded. These included lap themes of boots, bells, dance, bubbles, Silver Anniversary, decade of your choice and the final lap of transportable lights.

Booths of food, drink, jewelry and other items brought in more funds as the evening progressed. A silent auction, followed by a regular auction, both of donated items, brought in more funds. Some auction items went for several hundred dollars. Some volunteers modeled decorated bras, each trying to gather more donations as "votes" for the best decorated bra.

The Relay For Life teams this year were the Hansen Hunters, Grandma Jean's Kids, Cowboy Up For A Cure, Surfin' For A Cure, Cowpokes For A Cure, Hopes Diamonds, Ladybugs, Dietrich Family, Arthur Gang, Milesville Mardi Gras, De's Oil, Frogs, West River Lightning Bugs, Aloha Life, Setting Sail For A Cure, Midland Slam Dunkers and Cowgirls Cookin' Up A Cure.

Plans for next year's Quad County Relay For Life are already underway.