“With Many Becomes One” Successful Relay for Life
Apr. 29, 2008 -- Low temperatures could not dampen high spirits in Western State College’s Mountaineer Bowl Friday night during the Relay for Life which raised more than $50,000 for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services.
Nearly 500 exhausted volunteers walked or ran a combined 12 hours.
“Gunnison County residents showed true spirit and commitment this weekend,” said Jane Tunnadine, Team Development chair for this year’s Relay For Life. “Temperatures dipped below 30 degrees, and participants just kept walking!”
Many cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) showed up to participate.
“It was very touching and emotional for all of us,” stated Greg Waggoner, WSC Athletic Director.
Top individual fundraiser was Bonnie Case who at press time collected more than $1,330. According to Case, “this was a great healing opportunity.” She lost her brother to pancreatic cancer in January and her father to prostate cancer five years ago. The top fundraiser credits the support of her Curves team members and the generosity of those who contributed to Relay.
Carrie Reinecke and her team, the Colorado Fitness Cancer Force, raised a record-breaking $9,000. One third of that came from a team supporter who offered to contribute $100 for every mile team members walked/ran after 50, a milestone the team had reached by 1:30 a.m.
Sheri Crittendon ran as part of the Blue Heron. A cancer survivor herself, she said she was inspired to participate by her nephew, a 38 year old father of four who is battling stage IV cancer. Crittendon’s teammates carried signs in his honor. She stated, “he is a miracle... we have all learned so much about living and loving and moments made to be memories from Bart. He is our inspiration to do more and be better.”
Students from Ute Hall walked together for the entire twelve hours, totaling more than 234 miles collectively.
Corporate sponsors for Gunnison County Relay For Life were San Juan Cancer Center, Gunnison Country Times, Gunnison County Shopper, Mountaineer Athletics, Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods, Gunnison Valley Hospital, Wells Fargo Bank, Colorado Fitness, Go To Guide, Rotary Club of Gunnison and Sodexo Food Service.
Funds raised during Relay for Life support the work of the American Cancer Society. ACS invests about $130 million each year to fund cancer research; publishes educational materials and develops educational programs on cancer prevention; fights for laws which help prevent cancer and improve cancer survival rates; and provides services which help cancer patients and caregivers during and after treatment.
For updated fundraising totals, or to make an additional donation, please go to www.gunnisoncountyrelay.com.