Truckee Relay for Life raises more than $25K in fight against cancer | SierraSun.com

Truckee Relay for Life raises more than $25K in fight against cancer

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

This past weekend hundreds of community members put on their walking shoes in an attempt to stomp out cancer.

In its ninth annual year, Relay for Life of Truckee Tahoe raised more than $25,000, said Ruth Geresy, co-founder and planning committee member of the event. These funds will go toward cancer research, services for those with cancer, advocacy, and education and prevention efforts in the fight against cancer.

"We recognize that there are people dear to us, whom we cherish that either have fought, are fighting or have found their healing in another world that we want to honor today," Joanie Tankersley, pastor of Truckee Lutheran Presbyterian Church, said during the event's opening ceremony. "… For those here participating today in one voice call out for a cure and imagine that it is possible."

More than 200 people including cancer survivors and caregivers participated in the event, which took place at Riverview Sports Park from 3 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, Geresy said.

"It's a great fundraiser. It's a great cause," said Truckee resident Cheryl Korson as she walked the track Saturday afternoon. " … It makes me feel good inside and inspired by these people through their stories and surviving."

Among the cancer survivors attending the event was Christine Madden, emcee of the opening ceremony.

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"I would not be here had it not been for research," she told the crowd. "Both of my cancers were not easily treated, so I'm a real lucky person, fortunate person. I'm glad to be here, and I'm grateful to all of you who have joined me."

Hundreds of luminaria bags lining the track were used to honor those who have fought cancer, continue to fight cancer and those who have lost their battles.

"It's happy to hear stories of people that survive cancer, and then the sad part is at night when all these luminaria bags are lit up," said Truckee resident Alex Guerrero. "You take it all in, trying to spend time reading the bags — that's sad. When it gets dark, it's quieter and that's when it all sinks in."

Relay for Life started in May 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease. This year marks the event's 30th anniversary.

"Every year there are more survivors to celebrate," said Quillan Donnis, a community manager for relay based out of the ACS Sacramento office. "Every year, unfortunately, there are more to remember who have lost their battle, so we always want to be vigilant in raising that awareness, raising the funds to support research, providing the placement services and continuing the fight."