ELKHART — Relay For Life of Elkhart County participants turned out in force this year, walking for grandparents and uncles and close friends who were diagnosed with cancer.
Asked to write down why Relay For Life was important to her, Relay committee member Ariel Detwiler wrote, “I Relay for my whole family, so no one fights alone!”
Participant Alexis Navarro wrote, “I Relay for giving more birthdays to come.”
This year, 48 teams registered to walk the track at Goshen High School for a full day, from Saturday at 10 a.m. to Sunday at 10 a.m. At least one person from each team is supposed to be on the track at all times during those 24 hours, committee member Rebecca Little said.
At least 320 participants registered for the walk, but Little estimated more than 350 people participated.
Little said she appreciates the community atmosphere of Relay For Life of Elkhart County — people share experiences and memories.
“It’s like a family,” Little said.
When asked why she participated, team captain Judy Hoopingarner wrote, “I Relay for hope for a cure.”
Committee member Julieta Carvajal wrote, “I Relay so every niece has that special uncle.”
Little said she participates in Relay for Life in memory of her grandfather, who died of cancer in 2009.
"This is my way of making a difference,” she said.
Relay For Life of Elkhart County raised $40,000 by 10 a.m. Saturday, Little said. Goshen Moose Lodge’s team Heard of Moose raised the most money, bringing in $11,000.
Relay For Life of Elkhart County will continue raising money and collecting donations until August 1.