Community fights back with nearly $100K to help kill cancer

Posted: Tuesday, June 09, 2009

As the quarter moon shown over the Skyview High School track hundreds continued their trek through the night at the 11th Annual Relay for Life, dedicated to supporting those fighting cancer, remembering those fallen and raising funds to find a cure. "It would be sad if someone told me I had cancer and I might not live to be a grown up, so we're out here walking so that someday no one will ever have to be told they have cancer," said 11-year-old Kylie who had just completed her scavenger hunt list. So far this year's Relay for Life has tallied over $96,000 to hasten that day, according to co-chair Penny Furnish of Stewart Title, "We'll be accepting donations through the end of August, so we are still working toward our goal of $108,000," she said. The Luminaria Sales set an all time record this year with $5,217.50 being collected to remember those fighting or fallen to cancer, "Over 1,000 bags were sold and lit and 800 names were read," said co-chair Sarah Hough. "I had a family member who passed away and I wanted to do something to keep his spirit alive so I got involved through my husband, a Rotarian, and have found this a very rewarding thing to do. It all started with one doctor who said he wouldn't stop walking until he raised a certain amount of money and now the Relay for Life is the largest fundraising event in the world for the American Cancer Society. I come from a larger state and here in a small community it's just amazing that we are able to raise this amount of money on an annual basis," added Hough.

This year's top fund raising teams were the Soldotna Bible Chapel with $11,920, 4-H Sterling Superstars, $10,942, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, $5,106, D-3, $5,007, XTO Energy $4,791, HEA, $4,787, and those associated with the late Debbie Clonan, $22,862.

There were 49 teams walking this year with more than 400 participants. The best campsite award went to Heritage Place, and Koebryn Mynarik walked the most laps completing 40 miles during the 24 hours. Additionally 532 pounds of food were donated to the Food Bank. This year, Relay for Life teamed up with the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, and instead of using sand to anchor the luminaria bags, canned goods were donated to be used instead. For more information go to HYPERLINK "" or to make a contribution to the local event call 283-2334 or 260-8031.

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