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7th Annual Relay Raises An Amazing $94,000 To Help Find A Cure For Cancer


The 7th annual Relay for Life held on Friday August 1st was a rousing success. Even the weather cooperated this year. Approximately 450 people turned out to circle the track to help raise funds that go to support state of the art cancer research. The track was full of people, some pushing small children in strollers, groups of laughing teenagers, young and old alike coming together in a common effort to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back! The event was opened at 6:00 p.m. with a Survivor/Caregiver lap. The 100 survivors and their caregivers were honored with a standing ovation. Teams were introduced and pictures were taken.

The 45 relay teams and their captains that participated are: Camp Katie (8 teams), Linda Hardin; Camp Open House, Becky Davis; Candace’s Camp Courage (4 teams), Candace Gordon; Curvaceous Divas & a Few Good Dudes (2 teams), Maritza Jaggars; EP Cheerleaders, Alli Hardin; EP High School (2 teams), Alli Hardin and Caroline Miller; Estes Park Medical Center, Adina DeWitt; EP Middle School, Luke Miller; Friends for a Cure (2 teams), Dott Dewitz; Harmony Hoofers, Kristi Faraguna; Heavenly Hope, Renee VanHorn; Karen’s Crew, Mindy VanNess; Marcy’s team, Marcy Melanson; Mom’s Group, Sarah Walsh; Small But Mighty (3 teams), Susanne Bergeron; Starbuck Walkers, Dave Lasota; Team MedX (2 teams), Debbie Holmes; Team Meri, Martin Koschnitzke; Timberline Medical, Fiona Cahill; Tinky’s Team, Carol Smid; Two Faces Team, Dennis Schwear; Where There’s a Will (5 teams), Melanie Ruiz and Shari Hightower; Yahoo Wahoo (two teams), Jim Hughes and Heidi Campbell; and Yellow Brick Roaders, Bob and Barbara Schwartz.

The team Small But Mighty was given special recognition. They have qualified for Top Fundraiser in the Great West Division having raised over $25,000.00. Congratulations to them for a job well done.

The Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. was a touching time as all gathered around the stage to hear the names of those being honored and remembered. The lights were turned out and the track was aglow with 750 lighted luminaria. It was a time for holding hands, wiping tears and supporting each other. Some were celebrating, some remembering. Scott Smid read a touching poem that he had written about fighting cancer. The luminarias placed on the bleachers displayed the word HOPE, which was changed by the end of the ceremony to read CURE.

There were activities and food offered every hour on the hour all night long. Subway sandwiches were enjoyed while registering people and selling luminaria. Pizza was devoured about 10:00 p.m. thanks to Rob at Poppy’s. People watched movies, played games and shared stories of why they relay. There was even a Zombie who appeared about 3:00 a.m. to walk the Zombie Lap. He got a few laughs and screams. Complimentary chair massages were offered by Juli Amer-Curtis (LMT) of Mountain Sage Massage to ease any walker’s pain.

About 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning, people welcomed the sunrise and the hot coffee provided by Starbucks. A Fight Back Ceremony followed where people were urged to make a pledge to fight cancer to save one life, and also to sign a huge Relay banner. The Knights of Columbus and Egg & I provided a wonderful breakfast, which was enjoyed by all. The paper clips, which were earned with each lap walked by individual teams, were spread out on the track and the winning team with the most laps was Where There’s a Will. Cleanup was a breeze as Cheley Campers and students from Eagle Rock, pitched in to help take down tents, load equipment and return things to their original state.

We want to say a big thank you to the Estes Park community for your support in this effort. An estimated $94,000.00 gross income was raised to help support cancer research. There were 750 Luminaria sold.

Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors and supporters. They are as follows: Rooftop Rodeo, McKee Cancer Center, Dr. Rauk Dentistry, Solid Sound Entertainment, Poppy’s Pizza and Grill, The Egg & I, Estes Park Center YMCA of the Rockies, Protech Plumbing and Heating, The Lions Club of Estes Park, The UPS Store, Allnut Funeral Services, Aspen Eye Center, Curves, Mountain Time, State Farm Insurance, The Trading Post, Animal Medical Center, Estes Park Medical Center, Mountaintop Physical Therapy, Abbey Carpet & Tile of Estes, Dad’s Laundry, First National Bank, Waste Management, Subway, KEPL 1470 AM, True Value Hardware, Estes Park News, Signs of Life, MacGregor Ranch, Estes Park Trail Gazette, Starbucks Coffee Company, Rent-All of Estes Park, Park School District R3, Peak Hallmark, Estes Park Pet Supply and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
Special thanks to the following for their support in various capacities; EP Medical Center EMT’s, EP Police Auxiliary, Scott McKinney – DJ, Leon Wiese – Float Driver, Kearney Sand, St. Bartholomew’s – meeting room. Special thanks also to our valued assistants; Eric Adams – MacGregor Ranch; Scott Smid – Poem Reader; Stan & Pamela Becker, Gray Rueppel, Laurene Nicholl, Joe Barraclough, Janet Keller, Edie & Sam Keller-Twigg – Luminarias; Rick Spears – Logistic Support; Barbara Coen-Hollenbeck, Cory LaBianca , and Gini Wiseman – Survivors; Eric Rose & Fiona Cahill – Photographer; Loren Johnson – Trumpeter; Julie Pieper – Food Donation; Kris & Gary Hazelton – HOPE; Rob Pieper, Tim Poynter, Alan Long, Dave Lasota, and Rob Woodward – Food Donation; Kristy Welborn – Publicity; and Diane Yoblin – Volunteer.

Many thanks to the Relay committee for their dedication and hard work that made this Relay a success. The Committee members are: Event Chair/Regional Council, Candace Gordon; Team Development Chair, Linda Hardin; Youth Team Development Chair, Alli Hardin; Team Retention Chair, Shari Hightower; Team Recruitment Chair, Melanie Ruiz; Activities & Entertainment Chair, Gail Albers; Survivors Chair, Georgia Ballard; Luminaria Chair, Jean Francisco; Luminaria Co-Chair, Loretta DeWitt; Secretary, Ann Starbuck; Accounting & Data Collection Chair, Dwayne Ballard; Cancer Education & Advocacy Chair/Special Projects, Nancy Hughes; Relay Store Co-Chair, Donna McCleary; Relay Store Co-Chair, Brandi McCleary; Online Chair, Dennis Starbuck; Food & Beverage Chair, Carol Smid; Logistics Chair, Gary Cahill; Logistics Co-Chair, Katrina Phillips; Publicity Chair, Kathy Young; Sponsorship Co-Chair, Mike Oline; Sponsorship Co-Chair, Tammy Quist; Golf Tournament, Rob Gordon; Special Projects, Eric Eslinger; and last but not least, American Cancer Society Staff Partner, Susan Scott who was an immense help in this endeavor,

This was the best Relay yet. The bar has been raised and we look forward to raising even more money next year to help fight this dreaded disease.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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