The Relay for Life fundraiser in Princeton Aug. 1 and 2 raised more than $38,000, according to Jamie Anderson, publicity chair.
Jim Laskowski, chair of the overall event, announced the start of the event, sporting multicolored dyed hair. Also speaking to the crowd during the opening ceremony was the new pastor of the three Freshwaters United Methodist church campuses, Princeton, Zimmerman and Spencer Brook.“I’ve walked with many people through triumphs and struggles with cancer,” said Kevin Fox, pastor. He called having cancer a “tough battle” and told those who have had cancer, “You all inspire me.” He told of personal connections with cancer, having lost relatives to it.
The event was busy enough that the Princeton Lions Club, which ran the food stand, ran out of food except for some chips before the evening’s eating time was up.
Fox, Laskowski and Relay for Life luminary ceremony chair Char Kramersmeier presented a large, colorful quilt made by Becky Cartwright to Rick and Pat Johnson, of rural Princeton, for their many years of helping with the Relay. The Johnsons spent about nine years heading up the luminary program at the Relay for Life in Princeton.
Kramersmeier spoke during this year’s luminary ceremony about how hope is a centerpiece of Relay for Life, as well as remembering those who died of cancer and honoring the survivors. She also talked about how the Relay for Life is about continuing to fight cancer and find cures for it and how people can better their chances of survival through exercise and diet.
Kate Steinbach, who is the state representative for this particular Relay for Life, also spoke about how cancer has affected her family. All four of her grandparents had cancer and now her mother-in -law is in hospice fighting pancreatic cancer.
“There is not much hope for her, but keep her in your prayers,” Steinbach said.
Steinbach talked about how the public can help during the Stand Up To Cancer event that will have national TV coverage of a show coming out of Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Sept. 5. It will feature various celebrities in the fund drive. Steinbach said people can help the cause with a $10 contribution.
There is also the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network grassroots movement to make the fighting of cancer a national priority for funding, she said.
The Relay for Life in Princeton added its voice and support to the effort with 18 relay teams raising money and many sharing their stories with each other about their struggles and triumphs, wins and losses with cancer.
Before all the teams marched all night around the track, the local American Legion color guard led the survivors lap, in which cancer survivors in purple outfits followed to take the first lap around the track. Forty-four cancer survivors were registered, and it was reported that more than that number participated.