Edwardsburg Relay for Life raises more than $35,000Published 3:38pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Not many of us would voluntarily walk in a circle for 24 hours in sweltering heat. Then again, not many of us would choose to battle cancer given the choice, and cancer patients never get a break from that fight.
That’s exactly why over 120 volunteers participated in the Relay for Life event at Edwardsburg Middle School last weekend. Sixteen teams stayed up all night to walk the relay and raise money for cancer research.
According to Jodi Rozycki from the American Cancer Society around 300 people came to the event and 56 cancer survivors were honored at the “Survivors Ceremony.”
“The Edwardsburg community really put out a valiant effort in supporting ACS’s mission to get well stay well, find cures, and fight back,” Rozycki said. “I am very proud of the effort Edwardsburg put in to support the community.”
The event, now in its fifth year at Edwardsburg, has raised $35,500 for research so far this year. A large portion of that $35,500 was raised by members of Cheers for a Cure.
Cheers for a Cure is comprised of 16 members who have been raising money through public fundraisers at Fat Cam’s and Iechyd Da Brewing Company in Elkhart, Ind. and also through social networking, word of mouth, and friends and family. They were the only team to reach Jade level, meaning they have raised more than $10,000.
Cheers team captain Bonnie Bolin has been especially dedicated after losing her father to colon cancer last December. Her family helped raise funds by requesting monetary donations be made to the relay in place of flowers at her father’s funeral. To her the event was about “celebrating lives together; celebrating those who have fought the battle and won, and honoring those who fought the battle and lost”.
“Our mission is to not only remember together, but to celebrate those we have lost and those still with us,” Bolin says. “We are humbled by all our supporters generosity and loving spirit. It keeps our fight for a cure and spreading awareness part of our daily lives. Cancer touches all of us, but it can’t stop us! As team captain, I’m honored and inspired by everyone’s willingness to be a part of something greater.”
The event is also close to the heart of Relay organizer Angie Carrick who has lost multiple family members and friends to cancer.
“I want everyone to take a moment and think about why they’re here,” Carrick says. “This is from the heart; we do what we have to do. Those with cancer don’t give up so I don’t give up.”
“Unfortunately a cure wasn’t in God’s plan for my father,” Bolin said. “But we were given a miracle of 18 additional months due to research and advanced medicine.”
“If you don’t support this event, find one close to you. Be aware of everything the American Cancer Society does,” Carrick advises.
The Edwardsburg Relay for Life event is open to donations through the end of August. It would like to reach its goal of $52,000. Those wishing to donate can do so online at relayforlife.org/edwardsburgmi or by contacting a participant of Relay for Life and donating through them.