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Relay for Life begins Friday in Delano
July 23, 2012

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – The public is encouraged to stop by the 2012 Relay for Life at Delano City Park Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28.

“A lot of people don’t realize it’s a community event. They think you have to have a team,” tri-chair Michelle Otto said during the planning process.

Delano’s Relay for Life is an overnight event with food, games, walking, and socializing for all ages.

Campsite set-up and registration starts at 10:30 a.m. Friday. At 11:30 a.m., a hypnotist will provide entertainment.

Relay activities will start at 4:30 p.m.

A Delano Lions Club dinner will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and a silent auction will run from 4:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Silent auction participants should be present at the close of the auction to claim prizes immediately.

The Relay for Life features plenty of children’s activities from 4:30 to 8 p.m., such as a bounce house, dunk tank, crazy hairstyling, face painting, a project sponsored by Home Depot, and more.

The opening ceremony, along with the survivor lap and caregiver lap, will start at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s honorary survivor is Donna Magnan. Honorary caregivers are Betsy (Elsen) Nus’s mother, Lori Elsen, and husband, Tim Nus.

According to tri-chair Sarah Schumacher, a caregiver is defined as anyone who cares for someone fighting cancer, whether it’s driving them to treatments, cooking meals for their families, visiting them, or helping in other ways.

The luminaria ceremony will be at 9:30 p.m.

“We have 5,000 luminarias ordered,” tri-chair Nicole Kimball said. “They can be purchased ahead of time on our website or through any team member; and they can also be purchased for $10 at the event.”

At 10:10 p.m., a raffle drawing will take place. Grand prize is a $600 laptop computer; first prize is an “out and about” package with $250 in gift certificates to local businesses; and second prize is a “stamping and scrapping” package, with $150 in stamping and scrapbook supplies.

“Raffle tickets are $5 each, and you don’t need to be present to win,” Kimball said.

The fun continues through the night, and concludes with a balloon release and closing ceremony at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28.

For a $4 donation, balloons can be purchased at Kimball’s campsite during the Relay for Life.

“They are called ‘Messages to Heaven,’ and are released in memory of loved ones lost,” Kimball said.

The closing ceremony will feature various awards, such as best campsite, top fundraising teams, team with most members still awake, and more.

Last year’s Relay for Life in Delano had 37 teams and 55 registered survivors, and raised $93,516 for the American Cancer Society.

“Our goal is to have our largest fundraiser so far,” Schumacher said during planning.

This year’s goal of $106,000 is just above the record 2010 amount of $105,621.

People who would like to volunteer, or have questions about the event, can contact any of the tri-chairs:

• Sarah Schumacher – (763) 442-4457, sarah@dottiescause.com

• Nicole Kimball – (612) 532-9603, nkimball@yahoo.com

• Michelle Otto – (763) 412-7557, mickey910@aol.com

More information is also available on the Delano Relay for Life website.

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