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Between 5,000 and 6,000 luminaries lined the track during the 2012 Hubbard County Relay for Life. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)
Between 5,000 and 6,000 luminaries lined the track during the 2012 Hubbard County Relay for Life. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Relay for Life event raises nearly $50,000

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news Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

People took to the track Friday to walk for a cancer cure at the Hubbard County Relay for Life.

"All around, there was a lot of participation, the weather cooperated very well and it was a beautiful event," said Relay for Life co-chair Judy Garbo.

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As of Monday, $49,608.79 was raised at the Hubbard County Relay for Life. This amount is more than $3,000 more in donations than in 2011, Garbo said.

"To me, it was an absolutely fantastic relay," Garbo said. "People stayed late, did their own thing and it went very well."

She said between 5,000 and 6,000 luminaries were lined along the inside and outside of the high school track.

"There were way more luminaries this year," she said. "They lined both sides of the track and once it was dark it was quite a sight."

The 18th annual event's theme was "Imagine a world with more birthdays - celebrate, remember, fight back."

From 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., more than 20 teams walked the track in an effort to raise money for cancer research. Many people from the community also joined in the festivities.

The torchbearers were St. Joseph's Home Care and Hospice staff members. Chemotherapy nurses greeted the survivors and sent them off to walk with the torch-bearing team.

Traditional luminaries were sold in memory or honor of those who have battled cancer. In addition, yellow luminary bags were sold for caregivers. These bags recognized those who helped a cancer survivor during their illness.

The luminary bags lining the track were lit as a symbol of hope for those currently struggling with cancer and in remembrance of those who have lost the battle.

A celebration ceremony Friday night introduced teams and survivors. Silver survivors were recognized at the event. The Hensel Family & Friends team had a combined 39 years of cancer remission among its members, St. Joseph's Band-Aid Bandits had 49 years and Hubbard Bikers and 34 years.

The Marine Corps League Color Guard presented the American flag and Krista Norquist sang the National Anthem.

Survivors took a special walk around the track during the ceremony. "Hope" and "Cure" signs were lit and provided a soft glow around the track after dark.

Additional funds for the American Cancer Society were raised by teams at the event by selling food and other items.

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