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Relay for Life set for Friday in Worthington

Relay for Life logo

WORTHINGTON — Relay for Life of Nobles County will host its 18th annual event Friday night to raise money for the American Cancer Society and support local cancer patients and survivors.

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Survivor registration for those who hadn’t previously registered or attended the Survivor’s Reception earlier this month will begin at 5 p.m. in Benton Hall on the Nobles County Fairgrounds in Worthington. At the same time, live entertainment will begin on stage, ticket sales will begin for the bucket raffle in Benton Hall, and team campsites will start selling a variety of food items as fundraisers inside the sheep and poultry barn.

Among the items teams will serve are pork chops on a stick, cheesy turkey sandwiches, egg rolls, barbecues and chips, fresh mini donuts, nachos, popcorn balls and strawberry dessert.

Several teams will also have games and activities for kids, including a bounce house, ring toss, Kubb lawn game, mine bowling and a change toss.

Sixteen teams and more than 150 team members are participating in this year’s Relay and raising funds to meet a $77,500 goal, according to Sheila Koob, Relay for Life co-chair. With luminaria sales, sponsorships and a Relay Recess at Brewster Elementary, nearly $40,000 has been raised thus far. New this year, the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation has offered to match up to $50,000 in Relay contributions.

More donations were turned in during a Tuesday Bank Night, and organizers are hoping for a good turnout for Friday night’s relay.

The program will begin at 7 p.m., with the introduction of Nobles County Relay for Life chairpersons Koob and Kim Lambert, an invocation, singing of the National Anthem by Anna Meyer, a presentation by Relay for Life Honorary Chairman Darin Rehnelt, a survivor’s ceremony with a monarch butterfly release, caregiver recognition and Relay for Life team introductions.

At 8 p.m., there will be a live auction including several items and the chance to cut a ponytail from the head of one of several girls participating in a Locks of Love donation.

“We have an auctioneer and we’ll auction off chances to cut the ponytail off,” explained Koob. “The top two bidders get to cut a ponytail off of each person.”

Last year was the first time the local Relay for Life event had volunteers for Locks of Love, a program that collects donated hair of at least 10 inches in length and creates vacuum-fitted hairpieces for children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

Once the bidders cut the ponytails, Alesha Carstensen, a hair stylist and member of Team Coppertone, will provide each participant with a free trim.

As the live auction is taking place, winners will be drawn from the bucket raffle, and tickets will be posted by the items this year. The doors will reopen to Benton Hall after all the winning tickets have been drawn and posted.

All of the funds raised during the Nobles County Relay for Life are used by the American Cancer Society to fund research, the Hope Lodges of Minnesota and the Look Good/Feel Better program, as well as advocacy for cancer patients.

“The biggest thing, really, is research — finding a cure,” said Koob.

If people still want to organize a team for Friday’s Relay for Life of Nobles County, they must leave a message for Koob by the end of the day today at 343-0141.

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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