Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 9:46 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Relay for Life participants celebrate, remember, fight


Cancer survivors make the first lap of Homer's Relay for Life last Friday at the Homer HIgh School Track. Rachelle McAlexander and her cat, Gussie, led the lap. Above, Team Puppies led the pack when the relay's 19 participating teams hit the track. Team WAKO (We All Know One), the largest team with 18 members, topped the fundraising efforts with more than $18,700 in donations. The highest-earning individual, Scott Harding, raised nearly $6,000.

More than 200 participants on 19 teams raised more than $86,000 for the American Cancer Society at Homer's 2011 Relay for Life. Months of fundraising and planning culminated in the 21-hour event at the Homer High School track last Friday and Saturday, which included music, games, laughter, tears and a lot of walking.

Relay committee chair Marilyn Parrett said there were more participants than last year and that the group raised more money than the Kenai/Soldotna Relay, which had double the participation. The Homer community came through to exceed relay organizers' goal of $70,000.

"I think it really hits it home how important this event really is and raising money in the fight. They're either becoming more aware or we have more people that are being touched by cancer all the time," Parrett said.

Money from the relay helps local cancer victims directly as well as provide funding for national initiatives such as research. The American Cancer Society assists cancer patients and survivors with expenses associated with fighting cancer as well as services and resources.

For photos from the Relay for Life, visit Spotted&