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WJBD - Local News - Salem Relay For Life Tops $85,000 Goal

Cancer Survivors Complete Their Lap During the Opening Ceremony of the Salem Relay for Life.

The Salem Relay For Life's Honorary Co-Chair, Kaitlyn Crouch, sits atop the shoulders of her father, TJ. Her mother, Janet, looks on.

Salem Relay For Life Tops $85,000 Goal

The Salem Relay for Life has topped its $85,000 goal.  As of the closing ceremony Saturday morning, $87,644 had been raised. The announcement brought a cheer from those who had stayed at the relay all 12 hours of the event.  

The top team again this year was North American Lighting Points of Light.  The team raised $19,344.   The Xi Eta Country Financial team was second and the Salem Township Hospital Team was third.  Katie's Buddies team was honored as the Rookie Team of the Year.  Salem Elementary won for Best Theme Site and the Frog and Tadpole Team for Best Hope Float. Shiela Strong won a new award for Most Active Relay Supporter for her support of activities sponsored by many of the relay teams.   

Salem Relay for Life Co-Chair Renee Palazollo remains thrilled with the amount of money raised by the event. She says the money raised goes a long way for the American Cancer Society's fight against the disease.  "Seven cents of every dollar is all that goes to administrative needs.  That's it, 7-cents.  All the rest is used for advocacy, teaching the patients what kind of services are available, and educating the patients on what they need to do to better take care of themselves," said Palazollo.  

Relay for Life does more than provide financial support those impacted by cancer.  TJ and Janet Crouch were at their first Relay for Life event since their daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed with Retinal Blastoma. The pair say the event was an emotional boost, noting "it's like you don't meet a stranger."  The Crouch's daughter was also named the honorary co-chair of this year's Relay for Life, and they family says they will return next year.

56 survivors walked the track during survivor lap. They were soon joined by family and friends during the caregiver lap. During the emotional "luminaria ceremony," over 600 lit the track at night. Events ran throughout the night until the closing ceremonies and fundraising totals announced at 6 a.m. this morning. 

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