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Record numbers for Berkeley Co. Relay for Life

June 04, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - It was a time for drama at the Relay For Life of Berkeley County over the weekend.

Names of people who have died of cancer are sometimes announced at the event as it is held in different communities.

At the local Relay For Life at Martinsburg High School's Coburn Field Saturday night, pictures of cancer victims - as well as survivors - were included in a film produced for the event, said event chairman Jamison Reynolds.

The film was projected on two large screens on either side of the field's press box.

It was also a weekend of big numbers for the event.

Last year, about 44 teams participated in the walking event but this year 90 teams participated, Reynolds said.

The teams raised $252,000, a significant increase over the $166,000 that was raised for the American Cancer Society fundraiser the previous year.

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"This was a major year of growth," Reynolds said.

Although Relay For Life involves many activities, the focus is a walk meant to symbolize the constant fight against cancer.

Although teams can get walk sponsors to raise money, the teams can raise money any way they wish, like through a spaghetti dinner that may be held at an earlier date, Reynolds said.

Then the money raised is calculated on the day of Relay For Life, Reynolds said.

Cancer survivors were among the people who participated in the event and over the weekend, close to 200 survivors participated, an increase over the 80 who came out last year, Reynolds said.

The survivors were distinguished by purple T-shirts they wore.

The event was scheduled to run from noon Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday but was wrapped up about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in an attempt to not disturb neighbors, Reynolds said.

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