Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:03 PM on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Relay for Life countdown: Derby raises $3,800

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

Mary Ann Harding and Dan Dickey celebrate the end of a catch-and-release fishing tournament held in memory of Harding's late husband, Scott, on Saturday. The tournament was organized by Dickey, who had worked with Scott Harding on the North Slope. The event benefited Relay For Life of Homer.

With the clock ticking toward the fourth annual Relay For Life of Homer, an event benefiting the American Cancer Society that will be held in Homer June 8-9, related events are already taking place.

On Saturday, the first annual Scott Harding Fish For Cancer Cure Tournament drew 19 entrants from both in and out of Alaska and raised $3,800, said event coordinator Dan Dickey of Anchor Point. Dickey met Harding when the two men worked on the North Slope. In 2007, Harding was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007. When the first Relay For Life was held in Homer in 2009, Harding raised more money than any other individual and continued to do so each year after that. Team WAKO — standing for 'we all know one,' a statement about cancer's wide spread — was formed in support of Harding and has consistently been the highest fundraising team in the Homer event.

Harding died in January, but the team's fundraising efforts continue and will be aided by Saturday's tournament.

Tournament anglers who hooked halibut on Saturday were on the honor system. Photos of the fish they caught, complete with measuring tape indicating their length, were submitted to Dickey and Harding's wife, Mary Ann, as proof of the catch before the fish were released. For a fee of $50, an angler could keep one fish; for $100, the angler also could keep a second fish.

A total of 22 fish were kept in the tournament. The winning fish measured 35 inches and was caught by Brett Evans of Sterling.

Grand prize was a round trip ticket to Seattle, provided by Candi English of Anchorage, owner of Northern Solutions. Through an agreement between Evans, Mary Ann Harding and English, the ticket will be saved for an individual in need of assistance in traveling to Seattle for cancer treatment. English also committed to provide a second ticket to be used by an accompanying caregiver.

"(English) also committed to doing this again next year. She definitely wants this to be an annual Scott Harding fishing tournament," said Dickey. "It was fun. I know Scott is looking down and enjoying this."

The tournament wasn't the only Relay fundraiser happening Saturday. Representing Team Puppies, a Relay team of youngsters, Hannah Vance, Sophia Park and Delilah Harris sold lemonade and snacks in front of Ulmer's Drug and Hardware.

"(They) raised $242.67 and completely sold out of baked goods in three and a half hours," said Sophia's mother, Mary Tricamo-Park.

Tonight, the Kachemak Bay Running Club and Relay For Life of Homer team up for a fun run/walk that begins and ends at Alice's Champagne Palace. Registration begins at 5 p.m., with the run/walk beginning at 6 p.m. A $5 donation is requested. Entrants can choose either a two- or a three-mile course.

"We want people to wear their Relay T-shirts. If they don't have Relay shirts, then wear purple, the color associated with Relay and with cancer survivors," said Marilyn Parrett, Relay coordinator.

Immediately following that event, Alice's is offering a spaghetti special, $10 per person and $5 for anyone 12 and younger. Proceeds benefit Relay for Life of Homer.

"Come on out, walk or run, get some exercise and get ready for Relay, then join us for a spaghetti dinner and you don't have to worry about fixing dinner," said Parrett

On Friday, one week before Relay, event volunteers will 'paint the town purple.'

"We're asking all businesses to decorate their storefronts with purple so everyone knows we're getting ready for Relay and to show their support," said Parrett.

For more information on Relay for Life of Homer, visit www.relayforlifeorhomer.org.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.