Eighteen hours of remembrance and fun saw the Highland County Relay for Life top its fundraising goal over the weekend and now organizers are shooting for a bigger target of $100,000.
“We already hit one goal and now we’re going to try to beat what we did last year,” said co-event leader Cindy Wilson.
Last year’s goal was $80,000, but the teams were able raise $100,043, their largest total in several years. This year organizers set a goal of raising $85,350. They had raised $55,826 by the start of the weekend event that ran from 6 p.m. Friday to noon Saturday and at its conclusion had reached $86,399.
“It was great and the weather was awesome,” Wilson said. “We couldn’t do it without all the sponsors, and anybody who helped out in any little way at all helped make it a success.”
Each year organizers plan several different events to help team members make it through the night and this year was no different. Wilson said Jerry Haag Motors donated the use of car that people at the event tried to see how many they could squeeze inside. She said the record was 18. There was a Super Duper Obstacle Relay at 1 a.m, a lip sync contest at 1:30 a.m., a Catch the Villain Contest at 2:30 a.m., a dance off at 4:30 a.m., and more.
“The kids were still going at 4:30 and they were having the most awesome time,” Wilson said.
The fundraising continues until Aug. 30 and Wilson said the goal now is to surpass last year’s total.
Some of the events still on the schedule include:
• July 15 – Dine and Donate at the Hillsboro Elks restaurant. Wilson said the event will be hosted by team Beat Cancer and will include raffles, pass the hat, and other fun things throughout the night.
• July 30 – Hobart Helping Hands will serve food and drinks at the Kroger Classic Car Show held on the Hobart grounds.
• Aug. 13 – There will be a 7 p.m. benefit concert by local band Blue Steel at the Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge. Tickets are $12 presale or $15 at the door. They can be purchased presale at www.paxtontheatre.com. Wilson said there will be raffles and other ways to raise funds.
Donations can also be made by visiting Relay for Life of Highland County on the American Cancer Society website or by contacting Wilson at 937-763-0637.
There were a total of 20 relay teams this year and Wilson said 15 of them set up booths at the weekend event. They compete to see which team can raise the most funds in three different categories: corporate, small business and friends and family. The winners and amounts they raised were:
Corporate – Merchants National Bank, $11,810; Hobart Helping Hands, $6,336; and Weastec Warriors, $5,437.
Small Business – Southern State Community College, $8,309; Adena Greenfield Medical Center, $7,298; and Hillsboro City Schools, $3,303.
Friends and Family – Cows For A Cure, $17,279; Beat Cancer, $7,890; and Charlie’s Angels, $7,846.
“The people that do this are not just doing it for their families, they’re doing it for everybody,” Wilson said. “So many people think this is a 5K run or walk and they think they can’t come out because they can’t do that. But that’s not what it is at all.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.