Relay for Life a success despite weather

Charlie Denison

Breast cancer survivor Marcie Ginnaty takes a walk through the luminaries Friday night at the Fergus County Fairgrounds during Central Montana Relay for Life. Although weather moved the event inside, many stayed to show their support, including Ginnaty, who has been cancer free for almost three years.
Photo by Charlie Denison


Although storms came and went Friday night during the Central Montana Relay for Life, the crowd stayed, raising approximately $40,000 for improvements in cancer prevention and screening.

Relay for Life co-organizer Chris Cooler said she was pleased with how the event turned out, as 15 teams participated and more than 75 survivors were represented.

“Despite the weather, we had people walking all night long,” Cooler said.

In addition to all the walkers, there were also 500 luminarias displayed.

When the event began, the luminarias were outside and the teams walked the grass. The rain hit shortly after the teams were introduced, which prompted the festivities to be moved under the grandstands. Many people started to participate and show their support, as volunteers announced names of those who have or are currently battling cancer.

Community members also joined together in song, as Kathleen Schaefer, Tricia Carter and Joan d’Hooge sang “Amazing Grace” to kick things off after Central Baptist Pastor Frank Burns gave the opening prayer. Schaefer also joined Zion Lutheran Pastor Lynne Ogran for a mash-up of “Give Yourself to Love” and “This Little Light of Mine.” Zion had a big night Friday, as they led all teams in fundraising. The highest online fundraising, however, went to John Kock from Central Baptist Church.

It was a big night for Relay, and Cooler said she appreciates all the volunteers who stepped up to help as well as all the community members who participated.



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