Tears and cheers flowed freely Saturday morning as dozens of cancer survivors, dressed in purple tee shirts and carrying balloons, walked the first lap around the track at Bret Harte High School.
It was the emotional kick-off to the Calaveras County Relay for Life, a 24-hour fund rasing event held this past weekend.
Relay Chairman Scott Kenley said they hoped to net about $120,000 in donations from the 24-hour cancer awareness event. As of Sunday, they already had $155,119.25 pledged. Donations will continue to be collected through August. Last year – the first year the event was held in Calaveras County – the cancer walk netted $73,000, Kenley said.
Kenley said money raised during the event stays in Calaveras County for cancer research and assistance to cancer patients.
“It helps individuals who have cancer and pays for them to be transported to and from doctors visits,” he said. “Any that has to do with cancer it can be used for in Calaveras County.”
Money was raised this year by 44 teams and individuals as well as from the community, students and businesses.