Teams raise $29K for Morgan County Relay For Life

by Patricia Keys

A sprinkling rain shower did little to dampen the spirits of participants in this year’s Morgan County Relay For Life on Saturday, June 9.

Clouds filled the skies and umbrellas were hoisted at the beginning of registration; however, most of the event was rainless but extremely humid. Tents were erected by organizers and housed many of the various vendors and participants.

A variety of games for children and adults alike were held during the afternoon and early evening. Prizes for adults who participated in games included gift cards donated by Angus & Ale, Kohl’s, I-Hop, Cracker Barrel and Target. Children’s prizes for game winners were donated by Dairy Queen, McDonald’s and Sheetz.     Big prizes of the evening went to J. Feiffer for the Carnival Cruise for two to the Bahamas and to Phyllis Hovermale for Rascal Flatts Tickets at Jiffy Lube Live.

The Relay event, which benefits programs of the American Cancer Society, brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups – people from all walks of life – all aimed at celebrating the lives of those who have had cancer, remembering those lost, and fighting back against the disease.

Morgan County Relay For Life was held as individuals and teams gathered at the Widmyer Elementary School athletic track and had at least one team member on the track at all times throughout the evening.

A raw egg toss was one of several fun events held for team members at the June 9 Relay for Life. photo by Patricia Keys

Teams involved included Charlie’s Angels, Blankley Auctions and new team this year, the Cancer Crusaders, all of whom did most of their fundraising prior to the event.

With an initial goal of raising $25,000, the organizers had already surpassed that goal before the event unfolded, making them “purple” in the eyes of the American Cancer Society for which they will get national coverage and acclaim.

At the end of the evening, the tally was considerably higher –$29,139.

“What an awesome community we live in! We may be small but we are mighty,” said organizer Julie Vogel.

A highlight of the event was the lighting of the luminarias decorated with names and sometimes messages to the people they’re dedicated to which took place as darkness descended on the track. Luminarias honor every life touched by cancer. Relay participants shared an emotional moment when each Luminaria was lit in remembrance of a life touched by cancer. A moment of silence was taken to remember the loved ones they’re dedicated to.

Luminaries. photo by Patricia Keys

Relay for Life participants kept going after dark, including, from left, cancer survivor Heather Stanton and Aubrey Stanton, Tenacious Ray and Serenity Stanton.

Magdelena Rightnour showed off her face art and henna. Facepaint and henna vendor Donna Mays, who said she loves to do face painting and has participated in many Baltimore Relay For Life Events, said, “Who doesn’t have a connection to cancer?” photo by Patricia Keys

Relay for Life organizers, from left, were Julie Vogel, Morgan Golden, Misty Clingerman and cancer survivor Joann Blankley. photo by Patricia Keys

Sarah and Keith Moats, newlyweds, came out to walk the track at Saturday’s Relay for Life. They came in memory of Keith’s grandfather, who worked at U.S. Silica and a regular participant in this event, and grandmother, both of whom died from cancer. The couple was headed to Clearwater, Fla. to celebrate their nuptials. photo by Patricia Keys