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Schuyler relay raises $40.6K to fight cancer

    SCHUYLER COUNTY—The 2011 Schuyler County Relay for Life this past weekend was an event mixed with tears and laughter.
    Tears were shed for the friends and family members lost to cancer, but there was also laughter to celebrate the survivors and hope for a cancer-free world. This year, 380 participants raised $40,659.31. Organizer Becky Franklin Women of the Moose 1401 raised the most as a group: $8,590.56. EE Energizers raised $8,068, followed by Young at Heart with $3,662.48.
    Individually, Barbara Anderson raised $5,901 for the Energizers. For the Love Bugs, Joyce Knight and Norman Knight raised $1,435 and $1,110 respectively. James Anderson raised $1,037 for Team Amber. The last donation over $1,000 was from Billie Jo Carnes with $1,010 for the Hyer Sunshine Club. The funds will go to the American Cancer Society for services they provide and cancer research.
    The event started with opening ceremonies and speeches, Friday evening. Committee member Kelly Crout released a number of purple balloons, for the people lost to cancer within the last year. She said, “I hope they see we’re still thinking of them” as the balloons drifted into the sky.
    Following that was the survivor’s lap, where survivors walked behind a banner and did the first lap of the evening. They were met halfway around the lap by caretakers, or people who had helped them live with cancer. The two groups then finished the first lap together. After that, one member of each team must be walking the track until 7 a.m. the next morning.
    Entertainment and games were available for people during the night. There was a dunking booth early on in the evening, with area representatives in the “wet” seat. Watkins Glen hairdressers Patty Spencer and Debbie Monks cut hair for Pantene Beautiful Lengths program.
    Monks explained they accept donations of at least eight inches of hair to be made into wigs, which are donated for free to the American Cancer Society. Each wig takes three to four months to complete and requires at least six ponytails. Monks said this was the third year she had set up at the Relay for Life to take hair donations. She added the two hairdressers raised over $1,400 at a Relay for Life fundraiser two weeks ago.
    Other tents set up along the track to raise money for the event included area organizations like the Chemung Canal Trust Company and the Burdett United Methodist Church. Celesta Lindsay explained the church was going a raffle for various gift baskets.
    Organizers were also collecting canned foods and books. Laurie McCoon explained the canned food donations are first used to weight down the luminaries, candles are placed in bags for a special ceremony honoring those who passed away from cancer. McCoon added the canned food is then given to the area food pantries. She explained the books are given to organizations like Camp Good Days on Keuka Lake that serve children with cancer.


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