RELAY FOR LIFE RAISES $66,857 FOR CANCER RESEARCH
By J. Levi Burnfin, Courier Sports
Published: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
Only the Olympic Stadium track in London saw more laps than the Glasgow High School track as almost 300 people participated in the Northeast Montana Relay for Life Friday night, Aug. 10, through Saturday morning, Aug. 11.
With 28 teams comprised of 295 participants, the Northeast Montana Relay for Life raised $66,857 towards cancer research.
The relay was opened at 7 p.m. by Rod Karst, who served as Master of Ceremonies. Judi Martin followed Karst with the opening prayer.
The American flag was presented by the Long Run Fire Department, Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department, Glasgow Police Department and the Valley County Sheriff's Office while Jill Farver sang the national anthem.
Sandy Laumeyer delivered the keynote address, giving a rousing speech of her own personal connection with and triumph over cancer.
Afterwards, cancer survivors took their own honored lap around the track as others watch and cheered. The Flame of Hope, lit by Deb Young and family, burned brilliantly throughout as a sign of life burning on, defeating cancer.
Finally, the 28 teams assembled on the track for their opening lap to signal the beginning of the 16-hour overnight relay. After the opening lap, one person from each team had to be on the track at all times until the final "Victory Lap" by everybody present at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
As the sun set, participants set out to light their luminaries, emblazoned with the names and in honor of loved ones who had battled cancer. Hundreds of luminaries outlined the track as it grew dark. Poems and music were played throughout the lighting.
The names on the luminaries were also displayed on a projector screen in the football stands.
With the light of the luminaries to guide them, the caregivers took their own lap around the track in honor of the friends and family that care for and surround those afflicted with cancer.
At midnight, Chinese lanterns were lit as part of the Fight Back Ceremony. The amazing race, team scavenger hunt and the victory lap highlighted early and late Saturday morning to close out the event.
Entertainment was provided through most of Friday night by Dawn Pattison, Bonnie Green, April Tronibeni, Vanessa Kauffman and Jessica Lacock. Karst also conducted the "Magic of Relay Olympic Games."
The games featured fun competitions such as the "Cookie Crumble,” which entailed competitors trying to get a cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands, and the "Apple Dance," which had pairs put an apple in between their foreheads without dropping it while dancing together.
On Saturday, Hailey Stone, Lily Helland, Tayte Prewett and the Fort Peck Summer Theater cast provided entertainment.
The Skeleton Crew, Strides of Hope and Albertsons Glasgow teams raised the most money for the relay, with The Skeleton Crew raising over $7,000.
Louise Franzen, one member of The Skeleton Crew, raised $3,366.20.
"I am participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life because I want to make a meaningful difference in the fight against cancer," said Franzen in her "Reason to Relay" on the Relay for Life website.
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