Marysville Relay raises nearly $185,000

MARYSVILLE — The Relay For Life at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School track and field not only held its own in an increasing field of area fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, but also topped its performance from last year.

With both Arlington and Lake Stevens conducting their own Relays this year, the former North Snohomish County Relay For Life became the Marysville Tulalip Relay For Life, which raised more than $184,000 and registered 689 participants for its two days.

“That’s $50,000 more, 24 more teams and 220 more people registered than last year,” said Monica Olason, event chair of the June 11-12 Marysville Tulalip Relay. “The American Cancer Society’s goal for us was only $100,000 this year, so we’re real rock stars,” she laughed.

The M-PHS stadium received more than a few Everett visitors this year, from Navy sailor Tony Greenland carrying an American flag as he marched for his father and brother, to “wheelchair warriors” Pat Morris and Dorothea Albert who are both part of the same art therapy group for cancer patients and who rolled their laps together.

Gary Flynn came all the way from Seattle to run the distance of two marathons on the M-PHS track, completing his course shortly after midnight on the second day of the Relay. He raised $10,000 by himself, but credited a local high school girl whose name he didn’t even know with helping him maintain his pace when he needed that support the most.

“Staying awake is the hardest part,” said Felicia Shanks, a Marysville member of the “Cruzin for a Cure” team that raised $15,000. “It’s easiest just to keep walking.”

By contrast, fellow Marysville resident Sydney Lamb of “Jack’s Pack” found it easy to stay awake, but much harder to keep walking. Both women have grandmothers who have survived cancer. While both of Shanks’ grandmothers survived colon cancer, one of them still succumbed to cancer later on. Lamb’s grandmother, grandfather and aunt all faced cancer, but her grandmother beat the odds.

“They gave her three months to live, and she had half her lung removed,” Lamb said. “Three years later, she’s a survivor.”


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