FOREST CITY - The Winnebago County Relay for Life event on the county courthouse square on June 29 was the end of another big year of fundraising for cancer research.
American Cancer Society representative Steve Lovik estimated $90,000 was raised this year in Winnebago County.
The weather cooperated for the year’s grand finale at Relay for Life Saturday. A full slate of activities took place in downtown Forest City to remember those who have fought cancer and to raise money for those who will face it in the future.
“This is the biggest crowd we have had,” Lovik said. “Having it uptown includes the whole community.”
Those turning out for Saturday’s event had the chance to watch a classic car cruise, antique tractor show, dance performances and musical entertainment.
“I had a wonderful day,” said honorary chairperson Cory Mitchell. “I like the layout of the event and the music has been wonderful.”
Mitchell spoke about her cancer story during the evening ceremony but deflected credit to the volunteers and donators to the daylong event.
“The volunteers do this as an act of love and I am one of the beneficiaries,” she said. “I would have died if money had not been raised for cancer research.”
A total of 21 teams participated in this year’s event, lasting from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Special events for those who have had cancer included a survivor celebration lap, a luminaria ceremony, a survivor luncheon and fireworks.
“The survivor walk emphasizes why we do this,” Lovik said as the third Relay for Life taking place on the courthouse square wrapped up. “It is great to recognize those who have beaten cancer and remember those who have lost their battle.”
New at this year’s event was a large entertainment stage on J Street. The venue offered a great place for people to perform and speak, Lovik said.
“The logistics of the stage really added to the event,” Lovik said. “This is the best set up we have had.”