BROOKVILLE — The Jefferson County Relay for Life brought many teams together to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of the year.
Jefferson County coordinator Nikki Carey, a 15-year cancer survivor herself, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and spoke of the importance of such events.
“My passion for this runs deep… Without this type of event and the money raised we can’t continue to do all the things we do,” Carey said. She referred to advancements in treatments, rides to treatments and help provided to the families of patients as some of the things provided through the funds raided by Relay.
This year’s goal was $83,000. It had nearly been reached at the start of the day Saturday. That has been the case for many years. The set goal has usually been met, or is close to being met by the time Relay day comes around.
The town square was filled with Relay teams from around the area. The opening ceremony began at 1 p.m. with recognition of all the teams and their captains. After which special guest Ryleigh Bruner sang the National Anthem.
Bruner won the Grand Club Award at Clarion University this year for raising more than $1,000 herself for the Clarion Relay for Life. She became involved with Relay when her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. She found the club during activities day at Clarion University, and created a team of four to join. She collected most of her money by collecting water bottles filled with dimes, and through an app she used for donations.
Many games were played throughout the day to celebrate accomplishments made through the year. During the Twisted Scavenger Hunt, the two final players left were each given bags, and sent to raise as much money as they could in 10 minutes for the final round of the game. When they returned they had collectively gathered another $135 from those attending the Relay which was added to the amount already raised.
During the evening, the survivor ceremony was held to honor those who had beaten their cancer diagnosis. Pauline Kelso began the ceremony by speaking of the importance of caregivers to a patient’s recovery.
“A caregiver has empathy and compassion, is patient and understanding. A caregiver is reliable and can be counted on, is trustworthy, and flexible. A caregiver is a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or someone who delivers meals,” Kelso said.