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Relay For Life of Valley Center Raises over $75,000



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Relay for Life team members along the Survivors' "Lap of Hope."
July 03, 2013
The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life was held June 22 – 23 at Bates Nut Farm, and raised over $75,000, with donations continuing to come in. Twenty-one teams and over 600 participants came together to celebrate, remember and fight back.

"Thank you to our community for your amazing support!" said Sharon Briscoe, who was chairman of the event. "We are looking forward to next year's event which is scheduled for June 21 – 22nd at Bates Nut Farm." Briscoe and the Relay committee spent countless hours organizing the event, keeping it fun and entertaining for the participants for a full 24 hours.

The Relay started with the Lap of Hope, where cancer survivors were awarded Survivor Medals and were the first ones out on the course. Briscoe told The Roadrunner, "The survivors represent one of the reasons that we Relay. By seeing them on the track we know that we are making a difference." The celebration continued with a "birthday" party in the designated Survivor tent.

Throughout the day, teams participated in Spirit Laps, sporting crazy hats, Hawaiian attire and patriotic outfits. Team Development co-chairmen Sue Restivo and Michelle Wick coordinated these spirit-boosting activities. The Pleasure Band and Super Freaks band provided live music throughout the day and evening, and Snow White & Rapunzel entertained the kids. Kids Zone Chairman Emily Speratos created magical memories with many arts and crafts projects for the younger participants.

Sherrie Ness and her Bates Nut Farm "Nuts for the Cure" team organized the silent auction, which brought in over $3,000. All teams had on-site fundraising activities during the 24 hours, ranging from homemade crafts, to baked goods, and even bunco and poker games.

In the evening, luminaria (paper lanterns with candles inside) lined the course. This ceremony served as a visual reminder of those whose lives have been touched by cancer, and to remember those who lost the battle. There were many loving tributes, which allowed loved ones to express their grief and hope.

The 24-hour Relay concluded Sunday morning with the VC Lion's Club preparing their popular pancake breakfasts and the Fight Back and Closing Ceremony. Guest speaker Dr. Daniel Calac spoke about recent breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Fight Back Chairman JoAnna DiBernardo shared information about staying healthy and lowering the risk of getting cancer.

Briscoe expressed her appreciation for the support of the Relay sponsors, committee members, volunteers, teams and Relayers. She added, "Our fiscal year ends on August 31, 2013. It's not too late to make a donation to this year's effort! Please visit our website at www.relayforlife.org/valleycenterca. The American Cancer Society is committed to finding a cure to help us finish the fight!"

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