Thousands raised to help cancer patients
Relay For Life participants
Valdez Star photo
Relay For Life held its 24 hour walkathon in Valdez last Friday and Saturday, raising thousands of dollars which will aid cancer patients and fund research for cure.
Good hearted people in Valdez raised over $50,000 last week to help cancer patients – and help find a cure.
"As of right now, its sits at $57,243," Shawnda Gallup said Monday afternoon.
Gallup chaired this year's Relay For Life, the 24-hour walkathon sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
That figure could go up significantly she said, as the Valdez chapter has until August 31 to add to that dollar amount before closing out this year's event. An upcoming fundraiser called the Color of Cancer Run, is slated for July 26 she noted.
While walkers in last weekend's event committed to raising funds in the 24-hour walk, numerous people have spent months fundraising and working quietly behind the scenes to make this year's event a success.
"It was worth it," Gallup said, noting that the disease is quite serious, but raising funds to help those dealing with it can be pleasurable. "I think we were trying to keep it fun."
Other organizers agreed.
"I think this year's Relay For Life went very well," wrote organizer Jenette Vlasoff. "We had an excellent planning committee with a lot of great fundraising activities held throughout the year. There was a focus on health and wellness this year which brought new activities to the event such as Zumba, Tai Chi, and Hula Hooping."
Gallup said the event had 109 registered walkers when it began Friday evening. While final numbers were not available Monday, several walkers joined the effort after it began.
"It's probably going to be close to 150," she said.
Vlasoff gave a special shout out to participants in an email listing top contributors to the event printed below:
APSC's John and the Honeybees bringing in over $13,000; Subway's Cancer Fighting Avengers with over $8,000; and the Crowley Cancer Crusaders in at over $5,000! The top individual fundraisers are Jackie Jones-Bailey just over $4,000; Natalie Lawrence not far behind at $3,900; and Jenette Vlasoff right about $2,600.
Valdez Star photo
Walking is only part of the Relay For Life concept. A number of supporters did laps on skateboards, bicycles, strollers and some hula-hooped during the 24-hour marathon.
We have six additional individuals that have earned "membership" to the GRAND CLUB (meaning they have raised over $1,000): Janet Sholer, Misty Olson, Sheila Jordan, Casey Sodergren, Hope Turner, and Shawnda Gallup. This year has definitely been a record breaking year for fundraising in the fight against cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society's website, Relay For Life events around the world raises more than $400 million yearly.
"The American Cancer Society puts these donations to work, investing in groundbreaking research in every type of cancer and providing free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers," the Society said. "We're fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer, in your community and everyone else's."
It estimates that worldwide, more than four million people in over 20 countries raise much-needed funds each year.