This year's Cape Girardeau County Relay for Life raised a grand total of $137,000, up $8,000 from last year, said Casey Hubbard, American Cancer Society income development specialist.
The event was held from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday at Capaha Park was attended by about 750 people; 36 teams of about 15 members each, 25 committee members and 150 cancer survivors honored in a special lap set aside for them. The 12-hour event symbolizes stages of a cancer patient's life with early evening as the first stage when there's not much change, followed by late evening when treatments and tiredness are setting in and then early morning when patients are sick, tired and feel they can't go on, ending with the sun coming up and a new day for hope.
Hubbard said new things this year included the location and many of the activities they were unable to carry out last year due to rain. "We did the scavenger hunt, bingo, a seed-spitting contest, musical chairs. Last year we held it in April at Cape County Park and many people packed up and left at midnight because of the rain."
Teams raised the bulk of the money, a total of $109,000, prior to the relay, while the remaining $28,000 was raised at the event.
"Committee members decided to move the venue to make it more convenient for participants," Hubbard said. "Parking was an issue at Cape County Park, and even though shuttles were used, it was an inconvenience for people with kids who'd come and go during the event. Capaha Park is more intimate, and, even though other factors like lack of electricity were an issue, we made it all work."
All funds are sent to the national level. The biggest percentage of the money is spent on research; allotments for education, advocacy and patient services take up the remaining expenditures.
335-6611, extension 133