Imlay's Relay a bonanza!
More than $150,000 raised for American Cancer Society
June 17, 2009IMLAY CITY — Moving to the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds has turned into a bonanza for organizers and beneficiaries of Lapeer County's Relay For Life.
American Cancer Society Representative Carol Boom said more than $150,000 was raised over the weekend (June 13-14) to benefit cancer research and awareness programs, an increase of $50,000 over the previous year's totals.
Saturday's 13th Annual Lapeer County Relay featured 42 teams, said Boom, with the teams from Ray C's of Lapeer and St. Paul Lutheran Church of Imlay City finishing first and second, respectively.
"Those teams had a great rivalry going that was a lot of fun for everybody," said Boom. "They kept each other and everyone else motivated."
Boom noted that the move to Imlay City three years ago has resulted in increased participation and donation levels countywide.
"The reason we moved the event to Imlay City and the fairgrounds was to get more people involved," she said. "Things have turned out great here and Imlay City has really rallied around this event for us."
|Relay participants keep in step while raising money and hopes for a cure for cancer at 2009 Relay For Life at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds. photo by Tom Wearing.|
Among those giving their all this year was Ray Clemens, owner of Ray C's Harley-Davidson and Extreme Store, who agreed to have his long locks and beard shaved to support the Relay.
Clemens, who helped raise $5,000 through a challenge to his employees and customers, also donned a dress as "Mrs. Doubtfire" as part of the event's "Relay at the Movies" theme, earning yet another $10,000 for the American Cancer Society.
"Ray and the Lapeer County HOG chapter were just awesome," said Boom. "We're very appreciative of their efforts."
Another attendee who sacrificed his long locks was 11-year-old Tim Roulo of Imlay City.
The student and member of the United Methodist Church of Imlay City team, had been growing his hair for more than a year for the purpose of donating it to Locks of Love.
"My friend did it last year and I wanted to do it this year," said Tim. "I want to help the cancer society. I hope that we can find a cure for cancer."
While the generosity of supporters was overwhelming, Boom said she was also pleased that 150 cancer survivors were in attendance.
"That's 40 more than were here last year and that's good news to all of us," said Boom. "We were also happy to see 35 people join our advocacy group for greater access to health care. That, too, was a big success. The success of this event is remarkable in these economic times."
Boom noted that 1,300 luminaries were placed along the relay route, along with 100 torches for donations of $50.
Providing entertainment for the event were the InVoice! Sweet Adelines barbershop quartet; "Nice & Easy" jazz trio; "Old Dogs" band; and two performances by local favorites, "R&R Double Take."
DJ services were provided by Tony Monteleone and J.A.M. Entertainment.
The event ran through the night Saturday and concluded at 7:30 a.m. Sunday with the traditional closing ceremony.
The Relay For Life is held overnight to acknowledge the reality that "cancer never sleeps." More than 5,000 communities nationwide hold Relays For Life, having raised more than $2.6 billion in the fight against the disease.
For more information about the Lapeer County Relay For Life or to make a donation to the cause, call the toll-free number at 1-800-513-9930 or go to: firstname.lastname@example.org.