More than $200,000 raised at Relay For Life
Annual fundraiser brings out hundreds in battle against cancer
Rather than allowing cancer to take the fight to them, hundreds of participants pushed back and raised hope for those who need it at the Charles County Relay For Life.
From 6 p.m. on Friday evening to 6 a.m. Saturday morning, the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata were filled with those providing donations and support to the battle against cancer.
Cristina Vandroff, a community manager at the American Cancer Society, said 75 groups in total participated in the relay. Anyone looking to attend and support the cause could walk laps around the circle with the many groups providing donations in their own ways.
Some groups sell food, Vandroff said, while others sell clothes or host events to raise funds.
“Everyone has their own way of raising donations,” Vandroff said. “It’s a collective effort between the 75 groups we have.”
Sure, it goes on into the early morning, Vandroff said, but there is a reason behind it. Cancer is a difficult disease and it does not have a time frame involved. Neither does the battle against it, Vandroff said.
“Cancer never sleeps so neither do we,” Vandroff said. “That’s our motto.”
The Relay For Life is a good opportunity for people to come out and make donations in whatever way they can to help defeat cancer, Vandroff said. The 75 groups — including many participants from Charles County Public Schools — helped raise money with donations through fundraisers.
Overall, just under $200,800 was raised for the event with members in the Charles County Public Schools raising just over $124,300. Michael Johnson, a parent of a child in the public school system, said it is good to see people come out and participate
in a cause like Relay For Life.
“We’re doing something that really matters, and at the end of the day the support is great,” Johnson said.
There was music, food, festivities and plenty of mascots to go around. Sponsors from Chic-fil-A, Rita’s Italian Ice and Texas Roadhouse all made appearances at the relay, which featured tents for all 75 participating groups.
Westlake High School’s team of participants raised $12,170, which was the highest of any group that participated in the relay.
Karen Costa raised the most money individually with $2,741. Via a post on the event’s donation page, Costa said she participates for her mother, who lost her battle with cancer in 2013, as well as her uncle, who she lost to cancer in 2015.
It’s overwhelming to think millions of people will be diagnosed with cancer just this year, Costa said in her post.
“A Relay For Life event is not only a way to join my community to fight back against cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and cancer awareness to help those facing the disease,” Costa said.