Relay for Life raises $74,000 and counting
Once again Adams County residents have rallied around those who have experienced cancer with a strong relay and cancer drive for this year. So far, following Saturday and Sunday’s Relay for Life, $74,160 has been raised, according to Steve Christner, who has once again helped spearhead the drive.
That amount, says Christner, is without other major fundraisers figured in, including the annual Kicking Out Cancer and Kickball Tournament in August and a concert sponsored through The Bridge Church featuring an impersonation concert with the music of Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley.
“Things went really well this year,” said Christner of the event that was once again held at the Adams Central track. “The luminary sales were up; the business sponsorships were up.”
Christner said that the only thing that might have slowed things just a little was a period of rain on Saturday afternoon. Once the rain stopped, the crowd increased. Dan Herring, director of Campus Life at Adams Central, was the speaker to 80 plus individuals that attended this year’s, Service of Hope on Sunday morning.
“I’m always impressed with the people of Adams County and how they take care of each other,” said Christner. “I’m totally amazed at the way they come out and support everything.”
One of the most inspiring moments of the event occurred when Ebony Fawcett, nine-year-old daughter of Beth Ann Fawcett, made an appearance to make the survivor lap.
Fawcett has been extremely ill the past few weeks; Christner said that he felt that her appearance brought total focus to the cancer cause.
“I received an email from Beth Ann on Friday evening that said that they might try to come,” said Christner. “I was so overcome, so touched by their effort. That little girl has done so much for all of us. She knows that God is waiting for her.”
On Friday evening, friends and supporters had surrounded Fawcett’s home with luminary candles as a tribute to the light she has shone in so many hearts.
Jeff Borchers, one of this year’s honorary survivors, said that he couldn’t have imagined how it was going to feel when friends and family members started showing up at the event to throw their support to his role and effort.
“I saw one person after another that I knew was here because of me,” said Borchers. “I can’t tell you how overwhelmed that I was.”
Another moving moment occurred when volunteers from the Monroe Fire Department showed up to walk in support of cancer. All volunteers were fully clad in uniform.
Wava Lichle, one of this year’s relay officials, said that there is no way to describe the feeling of seeing the entire event coming together in its success.
“It’s very rewarding to see all of the working coming together,” said Lichle. “This is not negative; it is an event of celebration, hope and continued dreams.”
“This is something; I’m amazed at what all goes on here,” commented Shirley Witte, Lichle’s mother, who has been fighting her own round of cancer. “It is something the way people are always walking. Everyone’s situation is different, but we are all working for the same cause.”
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