The dedication and energetic commitment of 20 local people has gone to benefit the search for new cancer treatments and cures by raising $8,481 in this year's Relay for Life.
The 20 members of the relay team fielded by Cedaredge's Pondy began work last February with a goal of being this year's top contributing team to the Relay for Life.
They achieved their goal and have already begun work on their effort for the 2016 team.
"We really want to thank all our team and all the people who helped us and made our fundraising possible," said team member Barb Hladik.
There were two cancer survivors on the team, and every member of the effort has cancer survivors in their family or has lost someone to the disease.
Members of the 2015 team are Patty Dallas, Linda Jones, Shawn Adams, Darrell Eurich, Barbara Hladik, Ann Mayne, Tracy Chevalier, Dianne Nichols, Kelsi Anderson, Hunter Blade, Brandon Kohles, Maxine Healy, Linda Burgess, Charlene Price, Bob Page, Payshence Page, Michael Pepper and David Schipmann.
The group's many months of fundraising activities began last winter. Those activities included dinners featuring ethnic and national food nights where, Hladik said, food was donated by team members and Pondy customers who then also paid to enjoy it. There were garage sales. There were fun games of darts, pool and "guess the number of whatever in a jar." They also produced and published a cookbook that is available for $10.
"We had a very competitive, hard-working team," Hladik said, speaking of the overall fundraising effort. "And we could have not done this without our wonderful customers at the Pondy," Hladik said.
The Relay for Life this year was on July 24.
The local team showed its total spirit and true commitment to the Relay cause. Their spirit and enthusiasm spilled over into efforts at the event that went beyond fundraising. They won first place for having the best campsite at the all-night outdoor event. A team member placed first in the contest for best costume made out of only newspaper and duct tape. One of the team's men placed second in the "Mr. Relay" competition dressed up as a female.
The local team dressed in costumes as "big, bad wolves" and as "Little Red Riding Hood" in keeping with the Relay's overall theme this year of "Once Upon a Time."
There was one other team from Cedaredge that raised money for the Relay and American Cancer Society, Hladik said. The funds they raised were donated as promised, she explained, but only the Pondy's team actually attended and walked the event this year. Hladik said she hopes the two groups can join their separate efforts together next year.
Hladik said that 80 percent of the money raised for the American Cancer Society by the Relay for Life goes to actual cancer research activities.
"We have already begun fundraising for next year," she said."