Switzerland County Relay For Life exceeds goal: $40,000 raised

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The Switzerland County “Relay for Life” was held at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park last Friday night and Saturday morning; and with some donations still coming in and some expenses left to pay, this year’s Relay appears to have surpassed its goal.

The organizing committee had established a goal of $34,000 for this year’s Relay, but event treasurer Kathy Daugherty said that she thinks that when the books are closed on this year’s event, the county will have raised approximately $40,000.

The event raises money each year for the American Cancer Society, which provides research funding.

The day got started with a Survivors Dinner at 5 p.m., held in the Switzerland County High School cafeteria. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Birthdays,” referring to the American Cancer Society’s motto of being an official sponsor of birthdays. The theme was carried out at the Survivors Dinner, where cupcakes were served in celebration.

From there, survivors, their families, and their caregivers joined other members of the community at the Ogle Park for the official starting of the event, which began with Peggy Eckerty singing “The National Anthem”.

That was followed by survivors being recognized, and they were given the honor of walking the first lap. The second lap was reserved for caregivers and family members to walk with the survivors; and on the third lap all of the teams walked together, before each team began its relay of team members which went on through the night.

One of the most popular events at this year’s Relay was the “Miss Relay” competition, where male team members put on women’s clothes and then got “votes” from those in attendance by a donation of money.

Evan Peelman of “Team Dorie” raised the most money, earning a night’s accommodation’s at the Ogle Haus Inn.

The employees of MainSource Bank again took on the responsibility of running the always-popular auction; and this year it raised over $1,400, as people bid on a variety of items, from gift certificates to baskets filled with goodies.

Bob Owings served as the auctioneer for the event.

Friday night was capped off with the Luminary Service, in which buckets circling the course were lit in honor of someone battling cancer or in memory of someone who lost their fight against the disease. More than 800 luminary buckets were purchased, each carrying a personal message honoring the person; and with all of the lights out in the park, each name was read by readers Wayne Daugherty, Bruce Tressler, and K.C. Banta.

Teams – this year totaling 19 – continued to walk laps around the track throughout the night; and by morning everyone packed up, tired for the time spent but satisfied and proud of the money raised and the caused helped.

Roy Duckworth was the general chairman of this year’s “Relay for Life”.