Relay For Life raises $53K+ for fight against cancer

A lighted path of luminarias, the HOPE sign and the beauty of the Northern Lights glowed over this year’s Relay For Life rally held in Kadoka on September 10-11.

Cancer never sleeps and neither did many dedicated people helping raise money for the American Cancer Society. People of all ages came from all directions with an estimated 2,000 in attendance.

When the relay bank closed in the early morning hours on Sunday, Eileen Stolley announced a grand total collection figure of $53,117. Kadoka’s goal was $50,000. Stolley expects the final total to climb over the $54,000 mark.

Cancer survivor Noah Terkildsen and his family carried the American Cancer Society Relay For Life banner leading the survivor lap. Two year old Noah has under gone surgery for a black cancerous (pleuro pulmonary blastoma) spot on his lung. The cancer is rare and is seen in young children. Following several surgeries, he is now cancer free; however, he will still be given CAT scans every three months until he is five years old.

Ruth, a five year old kindergartner, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was three and a half months old. Following her surgery, Ruth is now cancer free and has a yearly CAT scan.

The endurance of those who walked was measureless. Some walked hand-in-hand. Some walked with new-found companions. Some walked alone. They were still walking at sunrise.

Many of the walkers were relay team members, but the teams didn’t do it alone. Many other walkers got out on this beautiful night and enjoyed the fellowship of a successful event.

Ten days before the relay the number of luminarias sold appeared to be low, but Saturday night the bags circled the inside of the athletic track field and stretched nearly around the outside lane.

The committee said that, of the 1,300 candles they had on hand to place inside each of the luminarias, only 20 remained unused.

Twenty-eight teams worked together to help reach the goal. Five teams reached the bronze level, raising over $2,500. Before the evening was over the Town & Country Frogs from Wall moved into the silver level ($5,000 to $7,499) with $5,488.17. The team chairpersons were Trisha Eisenbraun and Christa Michaels.

Top fundraisers in bronze level ($2,500 to $4,999) were the PACE team of Kadoka and chairperson Ronda Dennis banked $3,952.75. Kadoka’s BankWest Banking on a Cure team collected $3,250.80. Alecia Fortune chaired the team. Kirby Schofield’s Midland Slam Dunkers banked $3,155.00 and the West River Lightning Bugs of Wall raised $2,811.91. Cindy Hauk and Jeanne Botz were the chairpersons.

Philip groups included: Teaming Up Against Cancer, chaired by Maureen Palecek; FNB Cowpokes for a Cure, chaired by Val Schultz; the Ladybugs, chaired by Kay Ainslie; Surfin’ for a Cure to E-lemon-ate Cancer, chaired by Kim Kanable, Diane Walker and Cindy Pfeifle; Hansen’s Hunters, chaired by Jack Hansen; the Spikettes sponsored by Kim Bouman. Brittni Ross and Michelle Butler were in charge of the survivor list.

Every dollar counts and all the teams must be commended for all they did to help with a very successful relay. “I was amazed at how well the relay pulled together in the end,” said co-chairperson Arla Patterson. Everyone of all ages helped out doing whatever needed to be done.

Patterson said the luminaria bags blew over when they started setting them along the track and more sand was added. “We needed to ask God for a heavy-duty prayer,” she said and at 6:00 the wind subsided. “God worked with us too.” Patterson added.

Year before last the relay was held in Philip, last year it moved to Wall, and Kadoka has now taken on the enormous project.

The site for next year’s relay has not been named, however, it’s expected to possibly return to Philip.

Sunday was a day of rest for the all-nighters. Most of the teams will take a rest until the next relay, but not the Slam Dunkers. A month of rest and they will be back to fund-raising.

Until next year …