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Sno Falls team raises money for Relay

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SNOQUALMIE - When someone learns that a loved one is afflicted by cancer, it has the tendency to get them involved with support and research in a big way.

That was the case for Shannon McNiece-Smith, who is watching her 3-year-old grandson Josiah battle the disease. Seeing him and his family go through the ordeal, along with the knowledge that her own father died from a brain tumor at age 68, has motivated her to get more involved with the increasing awareness of and support for the fight against cancer.

"It's fun getting into the planning and what we can do to raise money," she said.

Luckily for McNiece-Smith, getting involved in such a cause is easy for anyone in the Valley. This will be the fourth year the Valley will host an American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life event. Although it first started in Tacoma, such events are now held all over the world and are the flagship fund raisers for the ACS. Last year the Valley event raised more than $80,000. This year event organizers hope to break $100,000.

The actual Relay event will be held in June, but the work to raise money started months ago with teams based in local businesses and civic groups meeting to plan raffles, socials and garage sales. The Starlites, the team made up of employees from the banking and drivers licensing sections of the Sno Falls Credit Union, have come up with several ways to raise money for the event and McNiece-Smith, the licensing supervisor at Sno-Falls, is happy to be on board.

There is a gift basket one of the employees made up that supporters can buy raffle tickets for and the Starlites will also be holding a parking lot sale on June 3 at the Snoqualmie branch. Every day visitors to the Snoqualmie office get the chance to buy popcorn, with proceeds going to the Relay.

The highlight of the group's fund-raising efforts has been the Hope Quilt. For $5, a section of the quilt with a name designated by whomever has purchased it is sewn on it. Once the quilt is finished, it will be raffled off. Anyone wanting to have a square with a name on it needs to buy the square by May 25, but those interested in winning the quilt have until June 25, the day of the Relay for Life event, to donate $5 for be eligible for the raffle.

While The Sno Falls Credit Union's main office is in Snoqualmie, it has branches up and down the Valley and staff members are working together on the Relay projects.

"We don't get to see each other much, so this is a great opportunity to get together," said Paula Jordan, member services supervisor for the credit union.

McNiece-Smith said she always thought raising money for a cause was good, but has appreciated the extra incentive of working with colleagues and also working on behalf of a family member.

* The Sno Falls Credit Union is located at 9025 Meadowbrook Way, S.E., Snoqualmie. You can also participate at the Sno Falls branches in the North Bend QFC, 460 E. North Bend Way; in Fall City, 4219 Preston-Fall City Road; and in Duvall, 14110 Main St., Suite A.

For more information on the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, visit www.cancer.org.

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