Dale Clark, left, stands with his arm around Melanie Hahn, as her daughter, Kaylee Hahn, 8, sits on the lawn during closing ceremonies Saturday morning at the Craig Relay for Life at the Moffat County High School track. Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, started at 6 p.m. Friday and continued until about 7 a.m. Saturday.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Dale Clark, left, stands with his arm around Melanie Hahn, as her daughter, Kaylee Hahn, 8, sits on the lawn during closing ceremonies Saturday morning at the Craig Relay for Life at the Moffat County High School track. Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, started at 6 p.m. Friday and continued until about 7 a.m. Saturday.

Craig Relay for Life surpasses goal

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“Cancer is limited. It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot eat away peace. It cannot destroy confidence. It cannot shut out memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot quench the spirit. It cannot lessen the power of love that is so evident here.”

Rev. Bob Woods, of First Congregational United Church of Christ, during the closing prayer at Saturday’s Craig Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society’s Jeremiah Herman said he recognized how much a community like Craig could rally around itself during the city’s fourth annual Relay for Life.

“Everyone here knows everyone,” Herman said. “They all share their stories. They all know of people in this town and that’s what they do — they rally around one another.”

Relay for Life, which began Friday night and ended Saturday morning at the Moffat County High School track, raised $33,400 toward cancer research.

That amount surpassed last year’s $28,000 and this year’s $30,000 goal.

“I wasn’t quite sure we’d hit it about a month ago,” said Shannon Samuelson, Rely for Life committee chairwoman and a cancer survivor. “But, then we got a sudden jump in two weeks’ time.”

That sudden jump, Samuelson said, was most likely due to summer, allowing more teams to raise money.

“There was a lot more fundraising going on in the summer time whereas people have a little more free time and people can do more things outside,” she said.

Five of 17 relay teams were recognized for raising the most money. Samuelson’s team, Whip It, named after the hit Devo song, raised the most with $4,898.

The group was followed by Jean’s Angels with $4,429, the Parrotheads with $4,372, Sammy the Cancer Hammers with $3,247, and Guns and Buns with $2,807.

Also, four participants, including Samuelson, were recognized for individually raising $1,000. The other three were Craig residents Cathy Lowther, John Forgay and Kerry Kelly.

“People keep saying it’s because I’m a cancer survivor, but I wasn’t a cancer survivor last year and I didn’t make that amount of money,” Samuelson said. “I think I did a better job of soliciting donations.”

Among the estimated 220 people who participated, 40 were cancer survivors. Participants also lit the track with about 600 luminaries.

“It was a nice, balanced effort by all,” Samuelson said.

The all-night relay around the track ended at 7 a.m. Saturday and was followed by a service by Rev. Bob Woods of First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Craig resident Teri Mansfield led the service in song with a hymn and “Amazing Grace,” and Woods had parting words of hope for those attending.

“Cancer is limited,” Woods said in his closing prayer. “It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot eat away peace. It cannot destroy confidence. It cannot shut out memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot quench the spirit.

It cannot lessen the power of love that is so evident here.”

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