Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 31, 2014

Relay for Life raises funds, awareness

By DUANE NOLLEN The Oskaloosa Herald
The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Relay for Life participants did not worry about Mother Nature Saturday as they walked into the early morning hours Sunday to raise money to fight cancer.

This year, Relay for Life was held at the William Penn University Penn Activities Center Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.

After opening ceremonies, about 35 cancer survivors did The Survivors’ lap around the overhead track at the PAC to kick off Relay for Life.

Relay for Life Co-chairman Wyatt Russell said the relay teams set up camp on the field turf portion on the main floor of the PAC and they set up many activities for people to do while not walking. Also, there were four bands set to take the stage, which was set up in the basketball courts of the main floor.

“It’ll be a fun-packed day,” Russell said. “The teams have really stepped up and brought their own stuff.”

The teams established a kissing booth, a raffle and a photo booth, to name a few fun activities.

During the relay, there were several different themes for laps walked and at 9 p.m. the luminaria were lighted. Wyatt said closing ceremonies were set for 1:30 a.m Sunday and a final lap with survivors and Relay for Life Committee members would take place at 1:45 a.m.

Russell spoke during the opening ceremonies to kick off the relay. He and his wife, Amanda, were co-chairs for the event.

“Cancer survivors are the most humble people you’ll ever meet,” Russell said. That fact kept the Russells grounded as they helped organize the event, he added.

Russell also thanked the Relay for Life Committee members who helped organize the event.

“We had an amazing committee behind us,” he said. “They did a fantastic job.”

Russell said he and his wife have been involved with Relay for Life for several years after cancer hit close to home for both of them.