Daley walks the walk for Relay for Life

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The Greencastle Relay for Life may have been cut a bit short with Saturday’s midday storms, but Friday found plenty of smiles around the Kaley Field track. The event featured 52 teams, both large and small, and aimed at raising upwards of $225,000 to help in the fight against cancer.

Ellis E. Daley might have worn some holes in his shoes at Relay for Life of Greencastle on May 13 and 14. He committed to walking one mile for every $100 raised. He collected over $4,000 for the annual event that dedicates its proceeds to the American Cancer Society.

That’s 160 laps and counting.

Daley has been a one-man fundraiser since 2009. Last year he brought in the third highest amount for individuals.

“I enjoy doing it,” he said. “It takes a toll on my body, but my inspiration is my parents.”

Ellis F. and Betty Daley are long-time cancer survivors. Daley was also affected by the death of his boss, Penny K. Patterson, who succumbed to cancer in 2010 at age 51.

Daley, 54, raised $3,300 in 2015. His totals have increased each year, especially since he started using Facebook. That helped him reconnect with friends and classmates.

He walked those 33 miles, in sets of 10 miles, over the Friday and Saturday Relay event. He kept track of the distance with beads or a clicker.

One year it rained heavily.

“I got soaking wet,” Daley recalled. “I filled a bucket squeezing out my clothes at home.”

He is no stranger to the struggles cancer patients experience, having been hospitalized and undergone surgery multiple times himself for several medical conditions.

Relay for Life was held on Kaley Field behind Greencastle-Antrim High School. Daley, who had been employed by the school district for 25 years, was back on home turf to lead the fight against cancer.