Cancer survivors, caregivers, friends, family and local businesses brought in more than $75,000 of donations to the American Cancer Society for the 2018 Relay for Life event.
This year’s relay, held on July 14, saw dozens of community members from around the Valley, including Fall City and Carnation come to Tollgate Farm Park in North Bend for the kickoff.
The Relay leadership thanked their event sponsors for helping make the event happen, and invited guests to the stage to speak to the crowd about what the event means and how important the fight against cancer is and will continue to be.
North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing and Fall City Parks Commissioner Perry Wilkins gave brief speeches before former event lead Bev Jorgensen spoke about her own experiences with cancer and the importance of never giving up in the fight against the disease.
“Let’s keep Relay in the Valley, let’s keep supporting, let’s fight cancer, let’s erase cancer from our vocabulary,” she said. “… I want to continue and I want to see each one of you being able to celebrate more and more birthdays. We need to continue the fight. Thank you all for all of your support.”
After the speeches, the event was kicked off with the survivor walk around the park. The attending cancer survivors were broken up into groups based on how long it has been since they had the disease. Special attention was brought to Beth Stewart who has been a cancer survivor for 23 years, the longest of any of the attendees.
Brenda Potts, volunteer on the event leadership team, said this year’s relay event went very well. They had new family teams participate and got new businesses as sponsors this year as well. Potts said that with the money raised at the event, the total raised will be more than $75,000.
The funds donated to the American Cancer Society go back into cancer research, but also go to local programs that help survivors with various aspects of their lives, Potts said.
The fundraising doens’t stop here though. Potts said the 2018 Relay season ends on Aug. 31, and donations can still be made until that date. On Sept. 1, the 2019 season begins, with an official kickoff a couple of months later in January of 2019.