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Relay For Life -- Walkers raise awareness and $39,000 for cancer society

More than 40 survivors turned out to kick off Friday
More than 40 survivors turned out to kick off Friday's Relay For Life start. Photo by Kevin Hanson
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A little mist in the wee hours of the morning couldn't dampen the spirits of those camped out on the infield of the track at Enumclaw's Thunder Mountain Middle School Saturday to raise money and awareness during the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.

Twelve teams turned out to raise close to $39,000 in the 18-hour team-walking event. This is the third year Enumclaw has participated. Last year, teams raised $48,942. This year, organizers originally set a goal of $75,000, but lowered it to a more realistic challenge.

Enumclaw Community Hospital was the top fund-raising team, pulling in a little more than $10,600. The Rainier Rockets, a team with city connections organized by Marilyn Hash, was second with nearly $5,200 raised, and Team Frytini totaled $4,658.

Close to 40 cancer survivors donned purple or yellow shirts and strolled around the quarter-mile track for the opening lap Friday evening. They, along with friends and family, gathered for cake and a celebration afterward.

More participants and visitors walked in solemn silence at dusk as the track was ringed with luminaries tagged with the names of friends, relatives and colleagues who have survived cancer, are battling the dreaded disease or who lost the fight.

The evening continued with a poker run, bunko party and scavenger hunt to fill the late-night hours.

Organizers intend to work on making next year's event bigger and better.

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