Relay for Life goes above fundraising goal

The patriotic lap was a popular event near the end of the Greencastle Relay for Life Saturday afternoon.

The 16th annual Relay for Life in Greencastle exceeded expectations. The $190,000 goal set by the organizers turned out to be less than the dedicated participants were able to raise.

The 814 walkers on 72 teams brought in $198,400 as of Saturday night. The May 14-15 event was part of a national program sponsored by the American Cancer Society to raise money for research, eduation and support services.

“We’re blown away,” said Greencastle chair Pat Faust-Baker. “With this economy, it’s amazing. I don’t know how we did it.”

She credited the participants, higher in number than previous years, for the success. “They believe in what they’re doing.”

The weather cooperated this year, with a storm skirting the area prior to the opening ceremony Friday evening. Strong breezes punctuated the relay, but rain, typically a part of the weekend, was non-existent.

Faust-Baker saw that as contributing to the upbeat mood of the crowd. “There were more people on the track than ever and we went through water like crazy,” she said.

Even on Saturday attendance was steady. “People love the ice cream sundae from the Franklin County Dairy Princess,” she added.

After that treat, many began tearing down their tents and trailers. Shortly after the relay ended at 4 p.m., Kaley Field was back to close to its original state.

The stats

The top three fundraising teams were Greencastle Lioness Club, $20,282.05; No Place Like Hope, $12,163.83; Bud’s Girls, $11,018.08. The average amount raised per team was $2,517.84.

Individual leaders were Jan Eppleman, Greencastle Lioness Club, $7,220.83; Katie Barnhart, No Place Like Hope, $3,578; Bonnie Shepherd, Bud’s Girls, $3,111.96. The average amount raised per participant was $225.80.

The Rookie Team of the Year was the Waynesboro Area Middle School Leo Club, which raised $3,763.95.

This year 968 luminaries lit up the field and bleachers.

Basket Alley raised $6,130 from the raffle of 63 donated gift baskets at $1 per ticket. A cash drawing brought in $4,600.

The relay also honored 200 survivors with a special walk to open the event.

A young member of Bing’s Bunch has a quiet moment during the luminaria ceremony Friday night.