Relay combats cancer, abets birthdays
Young and old alike, including 5 year-old Johanna Barbey of River Falls, applauded the long line of 90 cancer survivors who walked a lap together around the River Falls High School gym to kick off the April 5-6 Relay for Life of Pierce County benefitting the American Cancer Society.
People who have beaten cancer wear matching T-shirts and often chains made of colored-paper links; the number of links in each chain represents the number of years since that person beat cancer. Observers say the event highlights how the cause brings together all different people from the community -- all ages of kids and adults, as well as businesses, high school and university students, cancer survivors and their many supporters.
Fifty-seven teams formed to raise funds for the 2013 Relay for Life of Pierce County that took place at the River Falls High School Friday and Saturday. An estimated 900 people attended the event and donated in one of many ways: A supper, breakfast or auction item, supporting a team and many other kinds of big and small fundraising events.
ACS Community Relations representative Kellie Burrows said fundraising so far has been "excellent," with $145,000 raised toward the $162,000 goal.
The top three fundraising teams this year were Bite Back with $16,671; the U-You Sisterhood with $14,532; and United for a Cure at $14,300. The top three fundraising individuals were members of those teams with Vincent Thomley raising $3,645; Diane Ullom raising $3,140; and Terry and Cathy Casey raising $2,681.
People can continue donating through the local event until Aug. 31 either by going online at www.relayforlife.org, enter River Falls' zip code -- 54022 -- in the "search for an event" blank, or by sending a check via U.S. Mail to 113 N. Third St., River Falls, 54022.