Although attendance and donations were down, Relay for Life organizers say this year’s event was a success, with more than $32,000 raised for cancer research.
“With the economy the way it is, I think it is a terrific amount for this size of town,” said DJ Craig, team coordinator.
Some 400 participants walked during the 12-hour event Friday, which kicked off at 6 p.m. on the Payson High School track. The event continued into the next morning to honor the round-the-clock fight of those battling cancer.
Members from 23 teams took turns rounding the track. For those not walking, there were plenty of activities and booths to visit.
One of the most moving moments of the event was the lighting of 750 luminaries, which were placed around the track. At 9 p.m., the track lights were turned off, the luminaries lit and the names of those lost or still battling cancer were read.
The only sour note for the event was the numbers. Participation was down 30 percent and donations were down 24 percent from 2009.
Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest fund-raiser, raising nearly $400 million nationally every year. Money helps fund research, advocacy and education.