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Relay for Life is Friday night

WORTHINGTON -- The 16th annual Nobles County Relay for Life is just a day away, and this year's 21 fundraising teams and more than 180 team members are turning in cash, checks and coins in hopes of reaching a $100,000 goal this year to help in the fight against cancer.

Relay for Life co-chair Kim Lambert said more than $80,000 has been turned in thus far, and numerous events and food sales during the Friday night Relay at the Nobles County Fairgrounds in Worthington will help raise more money toward the goal.

"Since we are so close to raising $100,000, every dollar raised on Friday night will be crucial," Lambert said. "The teams, bucket raffle and live auction all have something for people of every age. Everyone should stop by whenever it works for them between 5 p.m. and midnight to see how amazing the Relay is. As the national advertisement for Relay For Life states, 'Cancer fears the walker.'"

This year's Relay for Life in Nobles County is themed, Under the Big Top, to coincide with its move a year ago to the east side of the Worthington Hockey Arena. The move allowed for a better walking path, utilizing the blacktop street, concrete floor of the sheep barn and the gravel drive that leads from the livestock barns to near the grandstand.

Events get under way at 5 p.m. with team campsites starting to sell everything from food to jewelry, used books and hand-made items. Foods on the menu include sno-cones, popcorn, caramel puffcorn, root beer floats and sundaes, barbecues, hot dogs, cheesy turkey sandwiches and pork chop on a stick.

"There is going to be a dunk tank, ring toss, bounce houses ... and face painting," Lambert said.

The bucket raffle also begins at 5 p.m. and will continue until 8 p.m. New this year, the raffle takes the place of the silent auction. People will be able to buy tickets for $1 each and then place tickets in the buckets for items they would hope to win.

"Bring lots of cash, and big checks too," encouraged Lambert. "The teams have been working, a lot of them, year-round."

The program begins at 7 p.m., with a performance of the National Anthem, recognition of Coaches Versus Cancer event and Relay Recess, a survivor's ceremony, butterfly release, caregiver ceremony and introduction of Relay teams.

Bucket raffle winners will be announced at 8 p.m., followed by a live auction of several high-ticket donated items. During this time, volunteers from American Lutheran Church will hand out free glow necklaces to everyone in attendance.

The luminaria lighting ceremony will begin at approximately 9 p.m., following the musical selection, Point of Light, being performed, and a moment of silence.

Tony Winter will provide musical entertainment throughout the evening.

Closing ceremony will be at midnight, followed by clean-up. People are encouraged to stay the entire evening.

Parking for the event will be on the grassy area behind the main stage, between the horse barn and the race track. People are asked to bring lawn chairs, as limited seating will be available. Lighters should also be brought to help light the candles in the luminaria bags.

Lambert said she's excited about this year's event and encourages everyone to attend the Relay for Life, whether they've been affected by cancer or not.

"I think we've got something for everyone in the family to come out and enjoy themselves and help support the fight against cancer so we can do what we can to find a cure," she said.

Money raised during the annual Relay for Life goes to the American Cancer Society. Of all funds raised, 60 percent is dedicated for cancer research, prevention, detection and treatment; 13 percent goes to patient services, including the website, the 800-ACS-2345 hotline, the Hope Lodge at both Rochester and the University of Minnesota and cancer-related programs such as Look Good, Feel Better. Twenty percent of proceeds are dedicated for Relay for Life event costs, from hosting the survivor supper in Worthington a week ago to paying for the sound system and rental costs associated with the Relay at the fairgrounds. The remaining seven percent is to pay management costs of ACS employees.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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