Weather Forecast


Relay For Life raises more than $96,000 during annual event

Cancer survivors and their families start out for a lap around the New Richmond Middle School track for the Survivors Lap during this year’s New Richmond Relay For Life on Friday night. (Photo by Jordan Willi)1 / 9
Relay For Life co-chair Michele Melby talks to the gathered crowd about her experiences with cancer during the opening ceremony of this year’s New Richmond Relay For Life. (Photo by Jordan Willi)2 / 9
Cancer survivors continue making their way around the middle school track during the Survivors Lap of this year’s Relay For Life on Friday night. (Photo by Jordan Willi)3 / 9
The many people gathered to support their family and friends during this year’s Relay For Life cheer on the survivors and their families as they complete the Survivors Lap on Friday night. (Photo by Jordan Willi)4 / 9
Relay For Life volunteers collect the paper chains from each cancer survivor to make into one long “Yellow Brick Road” to mark the years the assembled survivors have lived following their diagnosis. (Photo by Jordan Willi)5 / 9
In Relay for Life tradition, this year's Wizard of Oz theme was transformed into "Dude Looks Like Dorothy" for the dress-up contest Friday evening. Back (l to r): Jim Gillis of Deer Park, Dave Zinda of Baldwin, Todd Stroeing of New Richmond; front: Grant Fisher of New Richmond and Lucas Urban of Hudson dressed up to look like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Each had 15 minutes to raise as much money as they could at the track for the coveted ruby red slippers as the grand prize. (Photo by Cindy Croes Olson)6 / 9
Relay for Life Co-Chair Hans Johnson and wife Catherine hold hands with family and friends as they make a lap around the track after the luminaria ceremony Friday evening. (Photo by Cindy Croes Olson)7 / 9
Young and old alike partook in the kiddie pedal tractor races shortly after midnight Friday. Eight heats of races were held, and Rose Gillis of Deer Park (pictured far left), made her way through the heats to become the pedal tractor race champion, winning a model John Deere tractor. (Photo by Cindy Croes Olson)8 / 9
Heather (Waidelich) Zinda of Baldwin was one of more than a dozen entrants in the spaghetti eating contest early Saturday morning at the Relay for Life event. (Photo by Cindy Croes Olson)9 / 9

Despite less than ideal 24 hours period of weather, this year’s New Richmond Relay For Life was able to raise $96,481.06. The number was just short of this year’s goal of raising $100,000, but event co-chair Betty Swanson believes enough money could still be raised by the Aug. 31 deadline to surpass the $100,000 mark.

“I think we would have passed that mark during the Relay itself if we had better weather for the whole event,” Swanson said of the 24-hour event that went from 2 p.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Saturday. “The rain was coming down really hard for a while, so some people didn’t come out who might have otherwise and others left early because the weather got so bad. But there were still people who were out there in the pouring rain walking around the track in order to keep the Relay going.”

The rain, which hit New Richmond early Saturday morning, forced the organizers to hold the closing ceremonies earlier than planned and move them inside the New Richmond Middle School to stay out of the rain.

“We had really good attendance at the event for the opening ceremonies, with a little less people being there during the events that took place around 10 p.m. on Friday,” Swanson said.

During the events Survivors Lap, cancer survivors walked around the middle school track with yellow paper chains in their hands representing the number of days, months and years that they have been cancer free. According to Swanson, the total number of links was 777, which represented the combined 777 years that cancer survivors at the event had lived after beating cancer.

A total of 24 teams took part in this year’s Relay, with Westfields Hospital & Clinic taking the top spot in money raised after bringing in $9,352.97. The top individual fundraiser was Dave Smith, who raised $3,520, while the top online fundraiser was Caleb Peterson, who raised $1,865. This year’s best campsite award went to Ronda’s Home Away from Home, who also won the best banner at the event.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
(651) 301-7847