Nine local teams walk in Relay for Life

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 6/23/99.

Relay for Life Nine teams from the Paynesville area joined others in the Stearns East Unit Relay for Life to raise $73,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The Relay for Life took place on Friday, June 11, at the Rocori High School track in Cold Spring. Guest speaker at the event was Lorraine Skrypek, a cancer survivor from Paynesville.

"At dusk, 3,800 luminaries were lit during an emotional ceremony to honor those living or to remember those who have lost their battle to cancer," Brenda Stang, Paynesville, said.

There were 40 teams with over 500 team members walking. Paynesville team captains and their sponsors were: Marlene Athmann, Al Neu H2O; Peggy Bayer, Community First National Bank; Ann Johnson, Paynesville Jaycees; Shari Heitke; Julie Jimenez, Col. Dan Winter, auctioneer; Steve Stang, Flowers by Us; Brenda Stang, Schmitt Trucking; Don Skrypek, Paynesville Lions; and Roxanne Knisley, team members.

The Paynesville Area Health Care System was a corporate sponsor. Other advertising sponsors from the Paynesville area were Paynesville Corner Drug, Paynesville Office of the Melrose Credit Union, Precision Fiberglass Products, Louis Industries, Paynesville Lions, Paynesville American Legion, Koronis Hills Golf Club, Central Minnesota Surgeons, and Dr. Elizabeth Payne, ENT.

"Without the support from local businesses and the community, the event wouldn't have been so successful," Stang said. Of the $73,000 raised, a portion will go towards research and education and the rest will remain locally to help cancer patients.

Minnesota is estimated to raise about $3.5 million with about 100 events. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in America, second only to heart disease. Lifetime risk for developing cancer is one in two for American men and one in three for women.

"Eight million Americans are alive today who have a history of cancer," Stang said. "The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed today is 58 percent as compared to 25 percent in 1940."

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