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15th annual Relay for Life raises $106,000 for fight

Friday night Relay for Life co-chair Patty Berger kicked off the evening with a warm welcome to all participants.

Then New Richmond teacher Stephanie Karno, honorary co-chair, told her cancer story with her children by her side and her husband making funny faces at her to get her through the emotional parts, "just like he did during my treatment," Karno said.

Karno admitted that she is a "lightweight" in the world of cancer survivors as hers was detected and treated early. She stressed early detection and treatment for everyone.

The evening was breezy and cool, perfect walking weather. Attendance was steady but it was not as crowded as in years past.

Committee co-chair Betty Swanson said the number of participants was down this year, probably due to the economy.

"But as a whole we are happy with what we raised."

The grand total stands at just about $106,000 for this year's Relay for Life, which compares quite favorably to the first Relay held 15 years ago. That first year netted $15,000, although last year the amount was about $150,000.

Twenty-seven teams participated this year, with Wal-Mart winning best tent decoration.

Baldwin Area Medical Center brought in the most donations with $7,858 raised and Dave Smith was the top individual fund raiser with $3,580.

Noah Berger raised the most money for kids 12 and under at $1,290.

Organizers are happy with this year's results and looking forward to an even stronger fund raiser next year.