They Said It Couldn’t Be Done…

This year $211,313 in donations were tallied by closing ceremonies at Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Relay for Life 2011! Recession! Ha! We laugh at that word!…at least where Relay is concerned…

Relay for Life was begun by one man in 1985. Dr. Gordy Klatt walked around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society as a symbol of how the fight for cancer never stops. In 2011, over 880 people from Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties showed our support August 13th & 14th, as we walked for 24 hours! Karen spoke to a lady who walked for 21 hours straight! Tiffany Misclevitz of ServiceMaster by JTS, told Summer, she walked 97 laps…that is about 32 miles!

Over 80 teams made this event great!

Download the Main Flyer for a full list of Teams & Sponsors!

We Didn’t Just Walk…

There were activities scheduled for the whole event! After Opening Ceremonies there was a Cook Out Cancer Chili Cook Off, Survivors Lunch, Silent Auction & Red Cross had a blood drive (they were only equipped for 40 people…so the other 30 people that showed up had to be rescheduled for another time…). There was a Best Bar-B-Que contest, Bingo, Campsite & Spirit Judging Awards…and let’s not forget the Miss-Ter Relay Contest that brought in over $6,000 in donations! (Sorry we didn’t get too many still photos from that event…Contact Us to buy the DVD if you want to see Diane Craft of Koelsch Senior Communities teach those men…I mean ladies a thing or two!

To keep things interesting there were THEMED LAPS: Survivors & Caregivers Lap, Awareness Ribbon Wands Lap, 80’s Theme Lap, Bubbles Lap, Lei Lap, Flip Flop Lap, Pajama Lap, Pirate Lap, Silent Lap (following the Luminaria Ceremony), 3 Legged Walk Lap (we even saw 3 people successfully complete a 5 Legged Lap…without falling until you tried to separate them), Illuminate Crazy Lights Lap, Party Lap, Sunrise Lap, Sunglasses Lap, All Team Captains Lap…and the Final Lap! If you were part of all those laps you walked 5 1/3 miles!

There were kids events including a Kid’s Carnival and Teen Tent too!

…And then there was the Entertainment

We would like to thank the following groups for inspiring us to keep moving:

There is still time to donate! Our goal was $240,000…if we all break out the piggy banks we can make it! Learn more at!

Let There Be Light!

As darkness falls on the fairgrounds we begin to see lights. Families & friends decorate and place bags around the track to honor those who fought and survived & those who fought and had to leave us. Each bag is as individual as the person it commemorates. Every year the Luminaria Ceremony is amazing. There are almost no words. The Silent Lap that follows is made more intense by a single bag pipe playing Amazing Grace (Thank you David M. Stredwick).

If you were part of the crew that planned this huge event, THANK YOU! If you are someone that never misses a year, CONGRATULATIONS! If this was your first year, WELCOME! If you couldn’t make it this year but plan to be part of this amazing event, SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! You are all worth EXCLAIMING!

Enjoy the pictures!

This blog entry is dedicated to the memory of Karen’s good friend Cricket Botero who moved on, but didn’t leave us. We walked for you!

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