Marysville-Tulalip Relay for Life raises more than $137,000 | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — At noon on Saturday, June 9, the Marysville-Tulalip Relay For Life had already raised $116,000 for the American Cancer Society.

By 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, Relay organizers were asking the remaining participants for $100 to give them an even collection total of $137,000.

They actually wound up going a bit over, and collecting $333 in that final hit instead.

“This has been a tough year for everybody in a lot of ways,” Mo Olason said. “Everybody who’s here wants to be here, though, and has worked hard to be here. I’m proud to be part of this cancer-fighting army.”

This year at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School stadium marked Olason’s last as event chair for the Marysville-Tulalip Relay For Life, since Kristin Banfield will be taking over that role for next year.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring joined former Mayor Dennis Kendall at the event, and praised the dedication of all the volunteers who have put together the annual Relay.

“That this many people have raised this much money makes me so proud of this community as its mayor,” Nehring said. “I hope it inspires you as much as it does me. The city of Marysville backs this event 110 percent.”

J.D. Drollinger, of the National Relay Advisory Team, visited this year’s Marysville-Tulalip Relay For Life to credit its participants with contributing both directly and indirectly to the American Cancer Society’s efforts.

“Relayers raise money for research, and researchers are working to find a cure for cancer,” Drollinger said. “Therefore, Relayers are responsible for finding a cure for cancer.”

Marilyn Hatch was named the event’s “Hero of Hope” survivor, having participated in Relay previously and weathered six bouts with cancer within the past 12 years.

“To this day, I don’t understand why they don’t give out those little packs of Kleenex at Relay,” Hatch laughed, as she recalled her first Relay. “It was very emotional, and from there, I went home and let my family know that I’d signed them up for Relay the next year. I’ve been going to Relay ever since.”

Owain Weinert was one of the younger cancer survivors at this year’s Relay, having been diagnosed two years ago, and he and his dad Alex both touted the benefits of Camp Good Times, which takes in kids like Owain and their siblings, such as Owain’s brother Dylan, for a full week of activities.

“It might be less practical than spending money on scientific research, but it brightens the days of young cancer patients,” Owain Weinert said.

“We were tired,” Alex Weinert said. “All we saw were dark days ahead in that infusion room. Camp Good Times received our boys with open arms, and when they came back, they were different kids. They’d even made new friends.”

“The national average for Relay fundraising is $33 per person,” Olason said. “For us, it’s been more than $200 per person. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”


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