After surpassing its original goal by more than $18,000 the 2015 Highland County Relay For Life and is aiming at a new mark it hasn’t reached in at least 10 years, and only has a few days to do it.
This year’s Highland County Relay For Life had raised $98,299 as of Friday afternoon, leaving it $1,701 short of the coveted $100,000 mark.
“I’m so excited, I can’t believe we’re so close to $100,000,” said Cindy Wilson, current co-chair of the local Relay with Cheryl McGee. “Since we’re that close we’d really like to hit $100,000. Of course, that means they’ll make our goal for next year $100,000, but that’s OK.”
Wilson said the American Cancer Society bases each year’s goal on what was raised the previous year.
Highland County Relay For Life started around 1995, Wilson said, and has not topped $100,000 raised in a single since at least 2005.
Wilson said Relay’s fiscal year does not officially end until Aug. 31, but to make sure all donations are credited to this year, anyone wanting to help Highland County hit the $100,000 mark for this year should make their donation by Aug. 26.
Donations can be made by visiting the Highland County Relay For Life website and clicking on the orange “donate” box.
What made surpassing this year’s goal extra special, Wilson said, was that for the third straight year weather almost wiped the Relay out. Two years ago storms knocked the power out and the Relay had to be rescheduled. Last year the event was able to continue, but only after heavy winds knocked over several tents. This year it rained all night and the event again had to move inside. Wilson said the rain kept away visitors that help raise money by purchasing food and playing games. She said it was so muddy after this year’s Relay that some campers could not be pulled off the Highland County Fairgrounds where the event is held for a week.
“Some people left, but we had teams that stayed all night and the crazy stuff we had planned for outside we just did inside,” Wilson said. “But when you think about it, that’s nothing compared to what cancer survivors and patients go through. They don’t get to quit because it rains or something, and that’s why we go back and do the Relay every year.”
This year 25 teams and 322 individuals participated in the Highland County Relay For Life. While the two-day Relay is Relay For Life’s big fundraiser, numerous others events are held throughout the county all year long to raise funds.
Next year’s Relay in Highland County will be held Jan. 24-25 at the Highland County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.
The Highland County Relay For Life kickoff off for next year will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Hillsboro Church of Christ. Wilson said cancer survivors, new teams, anyone thinking about having a team but not sure about it, volunteers, or anyone else interested in helping in any way is encouraged to attend.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.