Relay participants are finally getting some well-deserved sleep with the area’s final Relay for Life events coming to a close.
Both the East Grays Harbor Relay for Life and the Willapa Bay Relay for Life took place over the weekend, with the East Grays Harbor event raising $51,936 and the Willapa Bay event raising $39,366.
Combined with money from the Grays Harbor Relay for Life, which took place May 31 through June 1, local Relay events raised more than $412,000 for the American Cancer Society. About 1,100 people registered for the three events, with 23 teams walking at the East Grays Harbor Relay, 16 teams walking at the Willapa Bay Relay and 55 at the Grays Harbor Relay.
“As usual, we had a great turnout,” said Tracy Brady of the American Cancer Society. “We always have great participation here.”
All three of the events fell short of their fundraising goals for this year — Willapa Bay Relay hoped to raise $45,000 and East Grays Harbor Relay hoped to raise $70,000. Grays Harbor Relay set a goal of $425,000 and has raised $321,527. Brady said the participants have until the end of August to meet their goals.
Marsha Hendrick, chairwoman of the East Grays Harbor event, said she is proud of her participants whether they reach their fundraising goal or not, as every dollar earned brings the American Cancer Society a step closer to finding a cure for cancer.
“Whatever we raise, it’s more than what we started out with,” Hendrick said. “I think it’s a rough time right now. People give what they can give, and that’s great.”
Hendrick said the East County Relay was a success — especially with the sunny weather. The event had seven people who walked continuously for the 24 hours.
“Everyone just had so much fun, even though we got a little sun-burned,” Hendrick said.
She plans on chairing the event again next year and is already brainstorming ideas for improvement.
Denise Rowlett, co-chair of the Willapa Bay Relay, said her participants are still bringing in money, and she’s optimistic that Willapa Bay will reach its fundraising goal. This year four Willapa Bay participants walked 100 laps, covering a distance of 25 miles. In past Willapa Bay Relay events, only one walker has managed the feat, but this year Tristen Edinger, Shaleah Sinnett, Corey Hurley and Scarlett Porter met the challenge.
“Everyone who attended had a great time,” she said.