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Healdsburg's Relay for Life ends with "Fight Back" lap

The 24-hour Relay for Life ended Sunday morning after two dozen teams spent the night dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient support services.

Tired but happy participants reflected on this year’s event during closing ceremonies at Healdsburg Rec Park

Numerous awards were presented to sponsors, for team spirit as well as to team Trail Blazers.

“I walk for my mom and for many other relatives," said Terri Tamayo of who has been participating in the event for many years.  “This was a small event, [but] a little bit helps.”

Despite lots of community support, the fell substantially short of its $94,000 fundraising goal.

“We didn’t meet our goal, but we’ll continue to accept donations,' said event chair Kathy Roth. “We have until Aug. 31 to close out this season.

Roth reflected that another fundraising event may be in store for participants, perhaps even an online virtual event.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the community," she said. "Businesses have been so supportive."

When asked if the economy was to blame, Roth said she didn't know if that's the reason that fundraising was down, but she said it's possible.

"It could be that people are more cautious,” she said.

Closing ceremonies included a "Fight Back" segment.  Committee chair Barbara Warner introduced the 2011  

“Cancer affects all of us in the community," Tuscany said.

Tuscany spoke of her cancer treatment and the affects of toxic neuropathy that are the result of the cancer or the chemotherapy.  Her journey began about a year ago with a diagnosis of breast cancer. 

 “You need to stay focused on your goals, with a positive outlook," Tuscany said.

Her lessons include “the importance of medical exams and early detection and paying attention to what your body tells you,” said Tuscany.

Sonoma County Supervisor for the Fourth District, offeredthanks to all the event volunteers, especially Roth. 

“This is just the start of the fight against cancer,” said McGuire as the final lap around the Rec Park track began.

He added a plea for more volunteers to step forward to help.

Trail Blazer Awards are coveted by each team. The requirements are tough—attending all events and meetings and each team member raising at least $100, are among several prerequisites.

This year four awards were given.

Trail Blazers included the who raised more than $13,000, the Energizers with $9,000, Team Simi Winery with more than $3,000 and also with more than $3,000. 

, also a Trail Blazer award recipient, raised more than $8,600.

 Dick Ruppel, of Team Dick’s Chicks, was philosophical.

 “To next year," he said. "More teams, more money.”

Roth was quick to thank this year's participants.

“I’m thrilled with the teams that are here," Roth said.

“We could always use more volunteers," she added.  "If anyone is interested in volunteering it would be great.”

To help the 2011 Relay for Life reach its goal click here.

Keri Brenner June 13, 2011 at 05:09 PM
What can you say about Relay for Life Healdsburg? Congratulations to all the teams for their spirit, efforts and fundraising. Patch was honored to be a small part of this gathering. Thank you!

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