Story last updated at 6/20/2012 - 2:02 pm
JUNEAU - Relay For Life of Juneau, the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society, has once again shattered records this past weekend at Dimond Park. Juneau set a goal to raise $72,000 and has announced that they have passed $98,000 in their quest to help save lives, help local cancer patients and support efforts to eliminate cancer suffering and death.
The Relay For Life began Friday with 36 of the 54 registered survivors able to walk in the opening Survivors Lap, and then one member from each of the 41 teams were walking or running each hour of the 24-hour event. Entertainment arranged by Alaska Music One entertained the more than 390 participants and kept energy levels up throughout the event.
At midnight, more than500 luminaria surrounded the track and wrote out the word HOPE at Dimond Park in honor of those living with cancer and in memory of those who have lost their battle to the disease. Later in the night there was a surprise appearance of the local group Lifeglowzon who wowed the small crowd with their light show which included fire blowing and flame lit hula hoops.
Saturday morning, campers woke to the sounds of activities such as Zumba that kept those not walking the track energetic and motivated. Throughout the day special awards were presented to top fundraising teams and individuals. There are seventeen individuals in Juneau that were recognized for joining the Grand Club, which is done by personally fundraising $1,000. Fundraising continues through the end of August and then top individuals and teams will be recognized. The event committee has taken up the goal of passing $100K and is in a friendly competition with the Relay in Homer.
On Saturday evening the silent auction concluded at 5 p.m. allowing a short time to tabulate money raised so that it could be announced at the closing ceremony.
"It is very humbling," said Anna Dindinger, event chairwoman, "to live in a community that really picks up and supports this fight against cancer. Juneau residents have certainly done their part to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. We appreciate all of the support. The teams worked so hard to raise the money, and we are especially grateful to the families and friends who participated, as well as the sponsors, who made this event possible."
For information about Relay For Life or about cancer, call toll-free anytime 1-800-227-2345 or visit the American Cancer Society Web site at cancer.org. The local website is juneaurelay.org.