By Randi Somers
Over $86,000 was raised over the weekend for the Cancer Society in the Homer Relay for Life at the high school track in the biggest turnout ever for the event, organizer Marilyn Parrett said. There were over 200 registered participants and more showed up. At the height of the event there were about 250 participants in 19 teams.
Parrett said that 40 percent of the money goes to the American Cancer Society for research and 40 per cent stays in Alaska with a lot of it used for Homer cancer patients to help with lodging and transportation to Anchorage for treatment. There is also a resource group, the Reach to Recovery program, which matches up people with breast cancer for mutual support. “We also have the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ program with a gift closet containing wigs, mastectomy bras and prosthesis and a professional who teaches cancer patients how to apply cosmetics to feel better about themselves.” she said.
“I was so proud of Homer to see all the people out there showing support and groups like the Lions Club who provided breakfast for weary walkers. The United Methodist women made breakfast for the survivors.
The event started Friday night at 6 p.m. and ended at 3 p.m. Saturday. Entertainers in the middle of the track included Hobo Jim Varsos and two marimba bands. During the luminaria ceremony 325 candles in white bags lined the track, commemorating cancer victims who have passed or are still alive.
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