Johnson County is celebrating being $43,000 closer to finding a cure for cancer, after Saturday’s Relay For Life of Johnson brought in those funds for cancer research both locally and worldwide.
RFL — the worldwide signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society — raises awareness of and funding for cancer research and services in addition to supporting and honoring cancer survivors while also remembering those who lost their battles to the disease.
This year’s event — Carnival for a Cure — was a twist on the traditional relay, bringing clowns, games and carnival food to the mix.
“We were excited to see the number of people who attended our relay, which is what we were hoping for, especially the children,” RFL committee member Mary Ann Wheatley said. “The games and raffles were popular and we had a good variety of games.”
During the relay, Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon proclaimed June 1, 2019, as Relay For Life day in Johnson County.
Harmon said RFL of Johnson County helps fund local programs such as free wigs and head ware, rides to and from treatment, look good/feel better sessions for women who are undergoing treatment and supports cancer care specialist who are there to answer questions 24/7.
Wheatley said it takes a large group of people to make an event like relay possible.
“Vada’s face painting is always a big hit with the kids,” she said. “Wesley Women’s tacos were delicious as were H-E-B’s nachos. We had so many interesting games and raffles it is impossible to mention each one, except to say they all stayed busy and appealed to those attending.”
This year’s top fundraising team was the Dough Gang of First Financial Bank, bringing in $6,720.24.
Darlene Walker, of the Dough Gang, individually raised the most with $3,071.53.
“We are so fortunate that we have had many of the same dedicated people working on this event throughout the 17 years we have hosted Relay For Life to support the American Cancer Society,” Wheatley said. “And of course we are grateful to our ACS Community Manager, Rachelle Rich, who did an amazing job after joining the staff in very late in our relay planning.”
Wheatley thanked everyone for their support throughout all the years.
“Many of our sponsors have supported us every year from our beginning in 2003,” she said. “We have a group of leaders on the committee as well as team captains and team members who diligently support their fundraising efforts each year.
“Many businesses support us with generous donations of time and decorations, which helps make our event more pleasant and decorative.”
Money raised during October’s Bark For Life will also count toward this year’s total.
Preparations for the 18th annual RFL are already in the works.
Dates and times for this year’s Bark for Life and next year’s relay will be announced at relayforlife.org/johnsoncotx.