Washington County Relay for Life exceeds goals

June 24, 2008|By JOSH SHAW

HAGERSTOWN -- A T-shirt-spitting volcano and more than 600 people raised a record amount of money last weekend for the American Cancer Society during Washington County's Annual Relay for Life.

The all-night event with a luau theme was held at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park. Fifty-three teams walked laps to raise more than $123,000 for cancer research.

Cathy Beckley-Thomas, community manager for the cancer society, said she was happy that the event exceeded both the attendance goal of 410 people and the fundraising goal of $110,000.

Relay for Life participants form teams and get sponsors to donate money based on how many laps they walk throughout the night. Each team must have at least one person walking at all times, but live entertainment, games, activities and contests also kept participants busy.


To fit the theme, a smoking volcano - decorated with lights that shot out T-shirts - also entertained participants, Beckley-Thomas said.

The opening ceremonies started at 7 p.m. Friday and were followed by a survivors reception that honored 150 cancer survivors. The "Fight Back" ceremony concluded the event at 7:30 a.m Saturday.

An award was given to local radio personality Lou Scally, who has served as Relay For Life master of ceremonies on several occasions.

Dr. Michael Dean, author of "Empty Cribs: The Impact of Smoking on Child Health," was a guest speaker for the event, and Katie Gonder, a childhood cancer survivor, received a college scholarship from the cancer society.

"It was an awesome event, and we are already starting to plan for next year," Beckley-Thomas said. "We hope it is just going to keep growing and growing."

To make donations

Donations can still be made to this year's Relay for Life fundraiser until Aug. 31 by visiting

The Herald-Mail Articles