Volunteers release balloons at the start of the survivor's lap during Craig's first Relay For Life in July. The Craig event earned the Rookie of the Year award at the Great West Leadership Summit in Reno, which took place from Thursday to Saturday.

File Photo

Volunteers release balloons at the start of the survivor's lap during Craig's first Relay For Life in July. The Craig event earned the Rookie of the Year award at the Great West Leadership Summit in Reno, which took place from Thursday to Saturday.

American Cancer Society recognizes Craig relay

Organization honored at Great West Leadership Summit

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Volunteers release balloons at the start of the survivor's lap during Craig's first Relay For Life in July. The Craig event earned the Rookie of the Year award at the Great West Leadership Summit in Reno, which took place from Thursday to Saturday.

— Craig and Moffat County have done well in the eyes of the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society recognized Craig Relay for Life at the Great West Leadership Summit, during the past weekend in Reno, for having raised the most funds of any first-year Relay for Life drive in the nine-state Great West division.

Craig Relay for Life raised $67,897.23 before expenses, something the 2007 event chair Elisa Hayes and organizer/DJ Ken Prescott didn't expect.

"When I first sat down with (Prescott), we decided we'd maybe have 12 teams and maybe raise about $20,000," Hayes said. "By the time we had our kickoff (fundraiser), we already had 12 teams."

Then there were 17 teams. Little by little, the field started filling up until there were 29 teams on the day of the relay in July, Hayes said.

Hayes and co-chair Carla Alexander attended the summit from Thursday through Saturday, and they were presented with more than just the award, Hayes said.

"It was an amazing, sad, unbelievable experience," Hayes said. "We had the opportunity to meet some very courageous, very inspiring people and hear some very sad stories."

One couple at the summit had lost their two-month-old child after a brain tumor diagnosis, Hayes said. The couple said the doctors were unable to save the baby, and now they walk to raise money so that one day, medicine will be able to cure the disease.

Hayes heard at least one example of Relay for Life money being used for that goal.

"It was a pleasure to meet a cancer researcher whose father died of prostate cancer," Hayes said. "To hear her stories and what she is doing with her research money, it was astounding to actually see how this money we raised is going to be a part of one day finding the cure that all these doctors are looking for."

The community deserves whatever credit there is for this year's relay event, Hayes and Alexander said.

"It was very inspiring to come back and be ready for our community to come together again," Alexander said. "I can't put (this year) into words. It was incredible. It exceeded all expectations.

"We live in such a caring community, and it seems like people are always coming together when they need to," Alexander added. "But I am truly amazed and thankful that this community has come out the way it has and for the support we continue to get."

The 2008 event committee members plan to attend Relay University, a seminar on the best ways to conduct a relay, Oct. 6 in Eagle. Anyone interested in working on the committee can call Hayes at 824-6574 or 824-4619.

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