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Relay for Life tops last year's total

Published By: Rosemount Town Pages

Walkers of all ages persevered through the night to raise more than $68,000 for the American Cancer Society Friday during the 2007 Rosemount Relay for Life. Despite a few rain showers earlier in the day, hundreds of people showed for the 12th annual event.

Relay for Life is a 12-hour overnight event designed to raise money for cancer research and programs as well as to celebrate survivors of the disease. Teams consist of eight to 15 people who take turns walking throughout the night. Teams can be made up of family members, friends, school students and staff, or members of a any community group or business.

First-time event chair Nancy Kelly said they exceeded last year's total raised by more than $5,000.

"I feel that it was very successful," Kelly said.

American Cancer Society Community relations coordinator Luke Peaslee said that this year's total is a record for Rosemount.

"I thought it went outstandingly well," Peaslee said. "We had a great group of volunteers and an awesome turnout."

This year 53 teams raised money for the cause. Kelly said while that is one fewer than last year, results were good because the teams that participated had more people involved.

The relay began with cancer survivors making the first trip around the Rosemount Stadium track as onlookers cheered them on. After that it was on and for the next 12 hours the track was filled with people walking.

At dusk, volunteers lit luminaria, many or which were dedicated to those who have lost their battle with cancer. A touching sight of the night was the number of high school students who put together teams for the event.

While there were somber elements to the night - remembering loved ones passed - the overall atmosphere of the night was of hope and perseverance.

Kelly said the committee members did an exceptional job putting together the event and she hopes to have similar results next year. She said she will chair the event again next year.