MEDINA — Twenty-six teams raised more than $72,000 for the American Cancer Society and cancer research Saturday at the Medina Relay for Life at the Medina County Fairgrounds.
The program sported a “Through the Decades” theme.
During the opening ceremony, cancer survivors and community members shared stories of survival and were recognized for fighting the deadly disease. Organizers said there were dozens of cancer survivors in attendance.
The cancer survivors and caregivers completed an honorary first lap at the fairgrounds before other participants began walking.
In addition to walking the track for 24 hours, activities and entertainment programs, including a dance party and games, occurred throughout the night.
Judy Siman, of Medina, said she has participated in Relay for Life since 2010.
“I am always on the fairgrounds and eventually I was able to be exposed to Relay for Life. It is a wonderful opportunity for youth to get involved,” she said.
Siman said she has helped with the Medina County Junior Leaders Relay for Life Team for years as the club adviser. She then joined the Friends for a Cure a couple of years later and serves as the team captain.
Another Friends for a Cure member, Patrick Cagnila, of Valley City, has participated in Relay for Life for a few years.
“It is great to see the community get together to help fight cancer,” he said. “Many individuals in our community have been personally impacted, or know of someone who has been impacted, and it is really great to see us all rally together.”
Awards were distributed to the teams that raised the most money:
- Team Erhart Firefighters Association received the Jade Team Award for raising more than $10,000.
- Team I C U Care Medina received the Gold Team Award for raising more than $7,000.
- Team Bath/Richfield Community also received the Gold Team Award for raising more than $6,000.
- Team BFAB also received the Gold Team Award for raising more than $5,800.
- Team Buckeye Elementary received the Gold Team Award for raising more than $5,800.
After the awards presentations, participants completed one more lap around the track while an announcement was made.
“Even though it was the last lap of 2019, it was also the first lap of 2020, and we cannot wait to be here again next year,” someone said over the sound system.