Annual Relay for Life brings hope to Craig |

Annual Relay for Life brings hope to Craig

Nate Waggenspack

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Craig begins at Moffat County High School. The walk lasted until 8 a.m. today, and attracted over 200 participants.

The 2012 Craig Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, kicked off to high spirits from its survivors, co-survivors and other participants.

The Relay, which began Friday at 6 p.m. and concluded this morning at 8 a.m., was the 13th to take place in Craig, and attracted over 200 participants according to the event's website.

The overnight relay, which celebrates cancer survivors, remembers those lost to the disease and raises money for research, took place on the Moffat County High School track.

As of Friday evening, the Craig Relay had raised over $8,500, but was expecting more money based on donations during the event as well as receiving money from more sponsors, according to Sarah Blakeslee, Relay community relations manager.

The event brought out a wide variety of Craig residents, in attendance for many reasons.

Justine Hathhorn, 19, was part of a team of students from Colorado Northwestern Community College wearing togas, and said she was walking in order to support people with cancer.

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"I just wanted to be here to support all the families that are dealing with cancer," she said. "I have friends who have families dealing with cancer, so it's good to be out here and support that."

Derek Maiolo, Caitlin Harjes and Nicol Ferree, all 16, were walking for similar reasons.

"It's nice to try and help against cancer, I just like the idea of that," Harjes said.

"We don't really have anyone close or in our families with cancer, but it's about being supportive of those that do," Ferree said. "That's what I think Relay is all about."

Others in attendance have the Relay cause hit closer to home. Debbie Belleville, 46, has donated in the past but is walking for the first time this year. Belleville lost her husband to cancer.

"For me, (Relay) means hope," she said. "Just because my husband is gone doesn't mean I can't help somebody else."

Beckey Grabowski, a cancer survivor and the keynote speaker at the 2012 Craig Relay, believes in Relay as an event because of the good American Cancer Society did for her and her family in the past.

"ACS has done some pretty great things," she said. "Other organizations may have more money to work with but ACS takes care of a lot of the little things, things like transportation or the 'Look Good…Feel Better' campaign. They do a lot of good."

Leeann Cline has been involved with Relay for Life on and off since she was eight, and took on a new responsibility as the Craig Relay committee chair this year. She said the experience has been rewarding.

"It's been really cool, we were in a frenzy for awhile. But to be looking at everybody here being supportive, I was in tears multiple times from all of it," Cline said "It makes it all worth it."

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At a Glance …

Craig Relay for Life Numbers

(according to the event website Friday evening)

— 17 Teams

— 222 Participants

— $8,542 raised