I wish to extend a heartfelt Thank You to all the businesses, schools, individuals and volunteers that made the 2011 Relay For Life of the Central Peninsula a success. Because of your support, we were able to raise over $85,000 for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer and their ancillary support of survivors and caregivers. Our top fund-raising teams were Wal-Mart, Ustabeasts, and the Soldotna Church of God. Top fund-raising individuals were Michael Webber, Neal Duperron and Peggy Rogers. These three individuals, along with Dr. Katy Sheridan, all raised over $2,000. I applaud the phenomenal efforts made by all participants. After all, the point of Relay is not only to raise money, but to raise awareness of this devastating disease, and to show support for cancer survivors and their caregivers by participating in a 20 hour walk in generally not very pleasant conditions. Our theme this year was “Seasons of Hope”, and we hit most of the seasons this past week-end, didn’t we? Our top lap walker was 11-year-old John-Mark Pothast with 120 laps. Just like the fight against cancer, we must be persistent and continue putting one foot in front of the other.
And a big round of applause for Nikiski High School for holding the peninsula’s first ever Mini-Relay. Mini-Relay is a 5 hour abbreviated version of the Relay For Life, hosted by students and parents. Their efforts raised over $4,000 for the ACS. Thanks to all the businesses and individuals who supported the Mini-Relay, and thanks to Nora Ribbens and her son Dan for organizing the event.