With the 2014 Relay for Life theme “Finish the Fight!” rallying walkers to the new KCHS track Friday afternoon May 30th, by the following morning as high winds picked up it became apparent it was going to be a tough fight to finish the relay. “I pulled the walkers off the track at 9:00 am and forbade anyone from going out onto the track because there were large sheets of plywood that were blowing off the grandstands and landing on the track. We brought everyone indoors and continued to relay and complete our commitment, even though it was quite a party. When the Tesoro tent upended about 11:30 am I pulled the plug on the event and sent everyone home,” said Relay for Life event chair Johna Beech.
Nevertheless this year’s Relay for Life totaled up a whopping $53,877.11 to date, which will go to fund cancer research through the American Cancer Society, according to Beech. “We had 32 teams and 274 participants. Our top teams were Our Lady of Perpetual Help at $ 7127.49, Central Peninsula Hospital at $4662, and Kenai DJJ & Friends at $3068.67. Our top individuals were Michael Webber of Seldovia raising $3145, followed by Joseph Yourkoski at $1410 and Allison Gottseman with $1010,” she reported. The opening ceremonies were led by Jenny Neyman, Kenai Mayor Pat Porter made the official welcome to KCHS and Susie & Hall Smalley were the Survivor/Caregiver speakers. The National Anthem was sung by Hunter Hanson and Kenai Fellowship Pastor Rick Cupp gave the invocation. “It was a memorable year for sure with Ronnie Kier of the Main Street Tap and Grill who raised $1550 with the Shave/No Shave fundraiser. The “Shave” jar collected more money so he did shave his big beautiful beard at Main St. Bar & Grill on Saturday night. As a brand new Relay feature this year Artistic Puppy, Jon & Kara Taylor, lent their services with a special photo project. Participants wrote their reason for Relaying on a poster board, then Jon & Kara took their picture. The ‘Why I Relay’ photos were projected in a slideshow that night at the event and those photos will be available to purchase with a portion of the proceeds going back to Relay for Life,” said Beech.