Douglas teams raise more than $100,000

As of Sunday, Douglas Relay for Life raised $100,633.70 for the American Cancer Society. And the donation money is still coming.

"There was $1,000 more in donations when I came home from the event Sunday," said Jennifer Kashuba, an event chairman for the Douglas chapter of Relay for Life. "Because people are able to donate online, we expect more donations after the relay."

Last year the annual event raised more than $84,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year, about 850 people on 45 registered Relay for Life teams held bake sales and garage sales, played poker, bowled, washed cars and sang karaoke for the past several months to put the subtotal past the $100,000 mark.

The Relay for Life event on Saturday featured a complimentary dinner for more than 100 cancer survivors, a luminary ceremony and a survivors' victory lap before the teams walked or ran laps around a course at Lampe Park to raise money for cancer awareness, education and treatment.

Kashuba said Relay for Life's success is attributed to the community becoming aware there's an event that makes a difference.

"Everyone is touched by cancer - whether it's themselves, family, a member of their church or a friend," she said. "One of our goals is to get the word out about this annual event."

She said that money raised by Relay for Life teams from all over the country is helping to make a difference.

"Money from the American Cancer Society goes for education, advocacy, patient services and research. When people think about money for cancer, a lot think 'research,' but we have to take care of patients," Kashuba said.

"Advocacy is about going to Washington, D.C., to tell legislators we need more money for testing, to say that insurance companies need to cover routine tests."

Education is literature - the pamphlets in doctors' offices telling about examinations for breast and prostate cancers, she said.

"We've got to get the word out," Kashuba said. "We can't hear enough how important it is to test.

"That's where the dollars go, that's where you see the difference. New chemo drugs, new pain drugs to make it better, to make people more comfortable."

Kashuba said that she and the other 20 people on the Relay for Life committee who organize the Douglas County fundraiser do it because they believe in the mission of the American Cancer Society.

"But what a wonderful community," she said. "They are generous with their time, money and talent and, without that, it wouldn't be what it is."


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