by: BILLY GATES - Carrying the Relay banner during the opening survivors' lap are Carlos Kemper, left, Rob Osborn, Cherie Gaddis, Helen Houts and Minda Morton.Relay teams burned up the track on a hot weekend at a new location, bringing in over $52,600 during the Relay For Life event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Relay committee member Shari Durgan reported, “Our goal was $60,000 and we have an estimated $52,600 now, with more pledges coming in through July 31.”

The top relay team was the Bad News Bankers, which raised $4,118 for the cancer-fighting event. Teams close behind included, St. Charles Madras, $3,835; Madras Pacesetters, $3,823; Rotary Relayers, $3,672; and Madras Medical Group, $3,662.

The top individual fundraisers were, Cindy Wunsch, $1,820; Rob Osborn, $1,386; and Dan McCool, $1,255.

Relay member Teri Drew, who organized the silent auction, said, “It was great. We made almost $11,000, which is $1,000 more than last year. Everyone I talked to loved having it at the fairgrounds because there were trees and shade.”

Over 600 luminaria bags were put around the track, and Gary Carlton played his accordion as everyone walked the track after the luminaria ceremony.

The tri-tip dinner served 240 meals, down from the 300 served last year. The food was donated by Black Bear Diner.

“Pretty much everyone that we asked was very positive about the move to the fairgrounds,” Durgan said. “It was a venue that felt really good and comfortable. The access to the kitchen, pavilion and the Kinney building, along with all of the electricity and water that was available, made set up and take down so much easier for the committee. The fairgrounds people were great to work with, and very accommodating.”

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