Preliminary figures for this weekend’s Brown County Relay for Life show more than $60,000 has been raised — $8,000 more than was in hand at the close of the 2006 Relay that ultimately brought in more than $70,000.
Bob Hagood, Relay accounting chair, said Saturday the total stood at $60,500 with money still to be turned in.
What looms as the most successful Relay for Life here in its 11 years of fund-raising for the Brown County American Cancer Society was called off 90 minutes prior to its scheduled 6 a.m. finish Saturday due to weather.
“The lightning just got too close for safety,” said Relay Co-Chair Tammy Robinson. “We did have a prayer and everyone went home safely. That’s what counts. It was an amazing Relay.”
Alice Salazar, the other co-chair, watched the weather throughout the evening as thunderstorms visible on the horizon moved north and east of Brownwood.
Walkers and runners collected pledges and other contributions for cancer research, and made as many laps as possible throughout the night at Cap Shelton Track at Gordon Wood Stadium. They halted their trek at 10 p.m. for a service during which the lights were turned off. The field was illuminated only by candles from luminarias circling the entire track placed in honor or memory of relatives and friends who have or have had cancer.
Dallas Huston read the list of names as the hundreds of participants paused in silence.
Even though the Relay did not run the entire 12 hours planned, Micah Green walked 71 laps — 20 miles — plus several more laps he walked with his mother that weren’t counted.
Jill Evans, activities chairs, announced prize winners for the “Play to Win… Win for Life” game for points collected. In the women’s category, first place went to Kim Locker and second went to Sally Tobias. Dustin Graves and Steve Mays took first and second places in men. Lillian Alvarado won for girls, and Justin Robinson won for boys.
The bicycle went to Kylie Ogden, with Lillian Alvarado a close second in total points.
Yvonne Lundy, luminaria chair, said 210 were placed in honor of cancer patients and survivors, while 373 were placed as memorials to those who have died. Girling had a Hope and Cure Sponsor Luminaria at $1,000.
Robyn McDonald, survivor chair, said 92 cancer survivors registered for the walk, as did 69 caregivers.