ORONO, Maine — The Relay For Life of Penobscot County is projecting about $226,000 in donations for its 2013 effort. The dollar figure is not finalized because the annual event still has money coming in, and there are a couple of additional events over the next few weeks that will add to the total. Even with the early projections, the total marks the largest fundraising year to date of the Penobscot County event, which began 20 years ago.
“We could not have foretold what an amazing year this turned out to be,” said event co-chairman Chad LaBree. “We had a great weekend for weather, a great turnout, and a great showing of support in the fight against cancer. On top of all of that, we saw a record-breaking year for donations.”
The Relay For Life of Penobscot County was held May 17-18, at the University of Maine’s Morse Field. It is an 18-hour overnight event where individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites during Relay. People from all walks of life are all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.
“What impresses me the most is how much this event continues to grow,” said event co-chairwoman Denise Trafton. “In addition to the Relay for Life of Penobscot in Orono, there are Relay for Life events taking place in Ellsworth, Millinocket, Caribou, Augusta, and a number of other places in the weeks ahead. The ‘Relay Movement’ is strong because people are very passionate about fighting this disease. We are seeing more and more cancer survivors at the Relay, and as we continue to collect money for research, and prevention efforts, there will be a day when we beat this disease for good.”
The 2013 Relay for Life of Penobscot County had 75 teams, with more than 800 participants. The highest individual fundraiser for the event was Bud Leland of Team Shirls Girls, who raised more than $9,900 on his own. MJ Caps Connection of Brewer was the top fundraising community group. The top fundraising school was the Brewer Community School, and the top fundraising business was the Old Town Hannaford.
The second annual Greater Bangor Bark for Life, to be held at Hollywood Casino’s Bangor Raceway on Saturday, June 15, will also benefit the American Cancer Society. The event is similar to the Relay for Life, although shorter, and encourages participants to walk with their dogs in the fight against cancer.
Funds raised at Relay For Life are enabling the American Cancer Society to affect the lives of those touched by cancer within the community by supporting vital, cutting-edge cancer research; providing cancer patients with services such as transportation to treatment, free lodging at our Hope Lodge, and round the clock support at our national cancer information center available at 1-800-227-2345.
For more information about Relay For Life or to find out more information about upcoming Relay For Life events in other parts of the state as well as the Greater Bangor Bark for Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.