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Relay for Life raises more than $24,000 for American Cancer Society

Mower County didn’t hold back in its fight against cancer.

Relay for Life went off without a hitch on Friday. More than 300 people came to celebrate and to support cancer survivors and caregivers, while also remembering those who passed away. More than 2,500 events took place across the United States to support and to celebrate cancer survivors and caregivers.

Although volunteers were still counting the amount of money raised for cancer research as of Monday, Mower County raised $24,271.61 for the American Cancer Society, according to Mower County Relay for Life’s website. The top team for Mower County was Betty’s Bud’s, which raised $7,683.45. Barbara Lewis, who raised $3,200, was the top individual participant.

This year, Relay for Life took place in downtown Main Street between Second Avenue North and Fourth Avenue North, a departure from the Mower County Fairgrounds. The day was filled with activities that honored cancer survivors and their families. By the end of the night, various members took a walk amidst the glowing luminaries that were displayed in remembrance of those who passed away.

Relay for Life honorary chair Lisa Reese tells her story of fighting cancer during the Relay for Life Friday night.

“The change in location this year from the fairgrounds to downtown was a very exciting thing for much of the community,” said Garret Stadsvold, community development manager for the American Cancer Society.“The change brought more activity from the companies downtown, and more people that were already out downtown get captured within our event, which is exciting because many people still don’t know what Relay for Life is.”

A change in location that allowed small businesses in downtown to participate contributed to a positive direction for Relay for Life, Stadsvold said. He does think that Relay for Life will continue to be held in downtown Austin.

“I foresee the Relay for Life of Mower County staying downtown with more vendors being added, more live entertainment and most of all, more fun activities,” he said. “The plans for this event is to stay downtown for many years to come.”

This year’s event was a success, Stadsvold noted. He believes that those who volunteered to help put the event together showed what can be accomplished.

“My American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Mower County Planning Committee is comprised of very minimal people and they did a tremendous job this year with putting things together,” he said. “We are always looking for more leaders in Mower County to help plan and put together this event. As the community development manager that manages Mower County, I feel so privileged to be able to work in this county.”

See more photos from the Mower County Relay for Life here: Walk for the Fighters