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Relay for Life surpasses 2015 fundraising goal

Lead Summary
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Mavis Fodness

Relay for Life of Rock County surpassed this year’s goal of $35,000.
The 2015 event culminated Friday, June 12, with the local Relay for Life event and marked the 15th year the event has been conducted in Rock County.
With donations still coming in, the committee raised just over $36,000 in monetary and in-kind donations from corporate donations and the 13 fundraising teams.
“It went as well as other years,” said local chairperson Lisa Ehlers, who has served on the organizing committee since 2007.
According to the ACS’s website, Relay for Life celebrates the lives of people who have battled cancer, remembers loved ones lost and raises monies to fight back against the disease. Portions of the monies go toward administration, cancer research, education and advocacy at the state and federal levels.
New members are currently being accepted to plan the local 2016 event.
“Crowds were down, but like everything else it’s run its course,” Ehlers said.
When Relay for Life first began, teams would conduct an actual relay with teams walking from sundown to sunrise.
Last Friday’s local event began with a 5:30 p.m. supper and ended with the closing ceremony at 10:30 p.m.
“It went really well,” Ehlers added.
Between the supper and closing ceremonies were special events including the survivors walk, balloon release and lighting of the luminary bags in remembrance or in honor of loved ones with cancer.
Final fundraising events were also conducted.
After about a 10-year hiatus, the “Kiss the Pig” contest was conducted this time between Ryan DeBates with Exchange State Bank and Ryan Wynia with First Farmers and Merchants Bank.
The event raised $2,571.07 with the one earning the least kissing the 15-pound pig.
DeBates was on the “losing” end when $451.45 was raised at Exchange State Bank and $2,119.62 was raised at First Farmers and Merchants.

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