Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 5 : Summer 2010 - Page 29

Aroostook Relay for Life by Amanda Jenkins additional reporting by Tamra Kilcollins with thoughts from event participants On the evening of June 4th, thousands turned out to attend Aroostook County’s 14th annual Relay for Life. The event, one of countless others held all over the country, raises money to improve cancer treatments and support further research in the field; although for so many members of our community it does much more than that. The event honors those loved ones who have been lost, celebrates those who have survived, and provides hope to those who continue to fight courageously against this disease. This year’s Relay for Life was held at the Caribou High School track, where opening ceremonies began at 6 p.m. on Friday evening and ended “My boys were introduced to cancer in a negative way, so at 10 a.m on Saturday morning, with an event like this helps show them the generosity of so many participants trading in and out of people. This event showed them if we care and work together the relay to walk continually around great things can be accomplished against cancer and in life.” the track for the 16-hour duration. Community members showed their support not only through this display of physical endurance, but also through pledges and financial donations which continued to astound committee members as they compared last year’s success with this year’s. In 2009, 26 teams participated in the Relay for Life and an impressive $46,000 were raised. This year, 63 teams raised over $123,000 to fight against a disease that continues to affect every member of every community in one way or another. Cary Medical Center’s Bill Flagg, Director of Community Relations and Marketing, commented on the inspiring levels of community support, “A great deal of praise has to be given to those who helped organize this event, making it one of the most significant fundraisers ever held in Aroostook County. The event had a spirit of inspiration and hope that touched everyone that participated.” Miles Williams, Steering Committee Member, was also touched and astounded by The County’s ability to pull together for a common goal, “We felt that we had established pretty lofty goals based on our previous relays; we are so ecstatic with this year’s event and the support from everyone that we received. It’s a testament to the generosity of Aroostook County people, especially considering the economic times we are in. We are so pleased and happy and can