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2013 Relay for Life event moves to Haxtun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   
The Relay baton was handed off to Haxtun this year when the Phillips County Relay For Life event moved to the Haxtun Baseball Field for the all-night walk Friday-Saturday, June 7-8.

Holyoke and Haxtun teams set up campsites and made the trek around the track along the ball field in their mighty effort to raise funds for cancer research with the American Cancer Society.

Preliminary totals reported Phillips County collected $28,446.98 after months of fundraising events, culminating in the June Relay.

Cancer survivors release purple balloons to kick off the 2013 Relay For Life at the Haxtun Ball Field. Carrying the banner are Bill Harris and his daughter Kelli Lightsey. A breast cancer survivor, Lightsey spoke to the crowd about her experiences, encouraging others to stay strong in their fight with cancer.
—Enterprise photo

Phillips County celebrated “Decades of Hope” this year as the American Cancer Society was recognized for their 100th anniversary. Each team represented a decade, with everything from tie dye and flapper dresses to Kiss look-a-likes and poodle skirts.

Festivities kicked off at 6 p.m. with the opening ceremonies and a welcome from event chair Abby Henry as well as Jeff Plumb.

Breast cancer survivor Kelli Lightsey of Haxtun took the stage to tell her story. Even though she told about her cancer treatments and breaking her leg, her good attitude and funny stories had the crowd laughing, because “you see, we lived through this whole thing with a lot of humor,” she said.

Susan Markle and Mark Oman proudly carry ’70s-themed “Peace, Love, No Cancer” signs and the Prairie IT banner during the opening team parade around the Relay track lined with luminaria.  —Enterprise photo

Cancer definitely changed Lightsey’s life, especially for someone who didn’t want to slow down and take the time she needed for doctor’s appointments and treatments, but she said she was “relieved” it was her this time and not one of her family members. Their family motto is, “Everything happens for a reason.”

“Miracles happen every day.That’s the point of raising these funds,” said Lightsey, noting how close research is to finding a cure for cancer.

She left the audience with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Lightsey and her dad, Bill Harris, led survivors—clad in purple shirts—in the cancer survivor lap around the Relay track. Teams and community members showed their support of those who have fought or who are fighting cancer.

Following Relay’s “Decades of Hope” theme, Grainland’s Rick and
Diane Unrein sport their 1920’s fashion.
—Enterprise photo

Teams showed off their Relay spirit in the team parade to kick off the walking which lasted through the night until the Relay concluded at 7 a.m.

Supper was served by The Dutch Oven and R&B Catering while the Haxtun Lions Club and Bar Lo Café cooked up breakfast.

A 9 p.m. luminaria ceremony included a silent memory lap around the track and the reading of names in memory and in honor of those who have had cancer.

Activities like taste-testing of food from different decades, Wii games and “Minute To Win It” competitions kept teams active through the wee hours of the morning.

Josh Turney took first-place honors in the Mr. Relay competition for the Points West Community Bank Team, and the winner of Relay Idol was Brianna McFadden.

Event chair Abby Henry gives Josh Turney a chance to introduce
himself as he enters the Mr. Relay competition for Points West
Community Bank.

Other activities during the all-night Relay included Relay Idol vocal
performances,  “Minute to Win It” games and campsite fundraisers.
—Enterprise photo

Honors for best campsite went to Haxtun Hospital, while Rockin’ Out Cancer took the prize for best team in the parade.

Grainland Co-op was recognized for raising the most money at $2,865.

Other preliminary team totals include Bank of Colorado $2,170.69, National Junior Honor Society $1,815.89, Haxtun Lions Club $1,375, Haxtun FFA $1,304.93, Rockin’ Out Cancer $1,300.09, PC Telcom $1,225.50, Haxtun T-shirt and Trophy Shop $1,070.70, Points West Community Bank $1,046.57, Team Awesome $1,000, Seaboard $899, Prairie IT’s Virtual Walkers $657.13, Team Barnburners $492, CHC $410, Haxtun Hospital $67.03.

Other teams included Haxtun Student Council and Melissa Memorial Hospital.

It’s hula hoop time for Elby Kropp as she shows off her skills in
the team lap last Friday. Behind her follows Carol Krumm, who is
holding the banner for the 1950’s-themed PC Telcom team.  
—Enterprise photo

Holyoke Enterprise June 13, 2013