Below are the top four fundraisers from the 2014 Relay for Life of Barton County.
• CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions, $15,091.31
• Great Bend Regional Hospital, $10,854.83
• Great Bend Tribune, $7,066.10
• Zimmerman Family and Friends, $6,990.50
• Mariann Shook, $5,957.10
• Margaret Dirks, $3,267.92
• Tammy Zimmerman, $2,061
• Brian Strecker, $2,020.75
Relay for Life of Barton County Chairperson Kandi Wolf offered special thanks to the following for their support of the 2014 relay: Great Bend Tribune for its support through regular articles and the cancer awareness section; Cris Calhoun and KZNC DJs; Barb Schwartz for organizing the Purple is Powerful All-Survivor Choir; Annetta Mermis who was the survivor speaker; the American Legion Riders; Bass-X for sound help; Lew and Amy Rayburn (Ray was the Elvis impersonator); Roger Friedly for paying the relay’s Great Bend Chamber of Commerce membership; the chamber; Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes; Eagle Radio; and KSN.
In addition, Great Bend Appliance and Sleep Source donated prizes for a drawing. The winners were: Tammy Zimmerman, a microwave; kitchen mixer, Marian Corke; and Christina Halling, a queen-size mattress and box spring.
The goal for the 2014 Relay for Life of Barton County was $104,000. All the money has now been turned in and the annual cancer-fighting fundraiser fell a little short, netting $92,000.
Event Chairperson Kandi Wolf said there were challenges this year, but she prefers to look at the silver lining.
A total of 21 teams took part in the June event. And, where as the overall total missed the mark, the teams did well. “They actually made more money. They exceeded their team goals.”
The problem was the relay lost three veteran, long-term teams that historically brought in thousands of dollars. There were a few new teams, but being inexperienced, they couldn’t make up the difference.
Also, said Co-chair Mariann Shook, individual raise more money per person. “They all remembered why they were there.”
Wolf said she could not have done this alone.
“I have an amazing co-chair and committee,” Wolf said. “I want to thank them for not only doing their jobs, but pulling together and help with other positions. Everyone worked as a team.”
She said she was blessed to have worked with these volunteers as well as the team captains. “I’m proud of everybody.”
She also thanked Barb Schwartz for organizing the first-ever Purple is Powerful All-Survivor Choir and Annetta Mermis who was the survivor speaker.
She also wanted to recognize the winners of the various contests that took place relay night. The winning teams included: The Great Pretender, “Dolly Parton” from Great Bend Regional Hospital; Karaoke Roulette, CK Farms; themed luminaries, Walmart; best decorated campsite, Team Hope.
The 2014 relay had a musical theme and each team was encourage to pick a music style or genre to incorporate. The decorations and competitions were based on this.
But, Wolf and Shook are not spending too much time dwelling on the past. The two are teaming up to spearhead the 2015 relay and plans are already in the works.
The relay is set for June 12 in Jack Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend, starting at 6 p.m. It will have a beach party theme.
The kick-off will be in January, but the date has not been set. Fundraising will run from January through June.
Since 1985, the ACS’s Relay For Life has grown from one man – colorectal surgeon Dr. Gordy Klatt, who walked, jogged, and ran around a track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours raising money for his local ACS unit. The following year 340 supporters joined Klatt in this overnight event and Relay For Life was born.
Klatt died Aug. 3 at the age of 71.
Relays now take place in 5,000 communities in the United States and in 20 other countries around the world. More than 3.5 million people participate in the life-changing event, which has raised a total of more than $3 billion to fund the society’s mission.
Barton County falls in the ACS’s High Plains Division, which covers Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Hawaii and Guam. The Barton County Relay is regularly honored for raising funds and other successes.
For information contact Wolf at 620-797-5651 or Shook at 620-791-7549.