Rain holds off for Moniteau County Relay for Life

The 12th Annual Moniteau County Relay for Life was held Friday through Saturday at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds, California. Above, cancer survivors walk the Survivor Lap during the opening ceremony of the event.

The 12th Annual Moniteau County Relay for Life was held Friday through Saturday at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds, California. Above, cancer survivors walk the Survivor Lap during the opening ceremony of the event. Photo by April Arnett.

Participants of the American Cancer Society 12th Annual Relay for Life of Moniteau County were relieved to make it through the night without rain Friday at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds, California, considering last year's relay had to be cut short due to rain for the third consecutive year of the event.

"It was fabulous," Event Co-Chair Kim Clancy said. "This was the first relay I've done in three years that we've been able to go all night. At daybreak, it was a great feeling to know we had done this all night long."

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Event chair Rae Ann Shackleford, at right, speaks at the opening ceremony of the the American Cancer Society 12th Annual Relay for Life of Moniteau County Friday at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds, California. At left is co-chair Kim Clancy. Shackleford said, "This year 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, and half of one million will die from cancer.....beating cancer will be a challenge, but together we can do it."

Mother Nature didn't hold off long as thunderstorms moved through the area early Saturday night.

"I'm thrilled our relay was actually a 12-hour event this year," Event Chair and cancer survivor Rae Ann Shackleford said. "We had some awesome storm clouds move around us during the night, but they didn't pour down on us."

The theme for the 2012 Relay was "Many Faces-One Voice".

Relay for Life is a celebration of cancer survivorship and a way to raise funds needed to help find a cure for cancer. Participating teams raise funds throughout the year leading up to the Relay for Life, where each team hosts fundraising activities at their site, along with food and items for sale, with all proceeds going toward their team goal and the Relay For Life of Moniteau County overall goal.

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Cancer survivor Jordon Geiser is flanked by Queen of Relay Contestants "Cinnamon", who is actually Jordon's father Kenny, at left, and "Rhonda" of the Pedia-Cure relay team at the Relay for Life of Moniteau County. Cinnamon and Rhonda ultimately won the contest.

At the closing ceremony Saturday morning, a total of 66,488.36 had been raised. All proceeds will go toward the fight against cancer.

Nine relay teams participated in this year's relay, with Christina's Breast Friends Forever leading the fundraising with $12,058.89. Elvis & the Jailhouse Rockers came in second place with $10,162.92, and California Girls finished third with $9172.53.

"I'm very proud of all of the teams for their hard work and dedication," Shackleford said. "We had two new teams that did a great job and I hope they will continue to be a part of our event in the coming years."

Dory Belcher was voted Most Spirited Relayer. California Girls relay team won the Best Decorated Campsite contest and Christina's BFF's was the winner of the Parade of Teams.

Queen Of Relay contest winners were "Cinnamon" and "Rhonda" of the Pedia-Cure relay team.

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Kirstyn Roush, California, sings the National Anthem during the opening ceremony.

Shackleford added, "We're fortunate to have such a passionate community that supports this event each year. The business owners in our community are such a great asset when it comes to donations, volunteers and help when we need it. I'd like to thank everyone who helped and supported Relay For Life and I also thank our Heavenly Father for a successful event."

For more photos of the event check out the June 20 issue of the California Democrat.

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