54 teams raise $73K at Relay for Life

By Charles Guest / Cguest@losbanosenterprise.comJune 8, 2013 

Los Banos residents showed their commitment to eradicating cancer at the annual Relay for Life fundraiser at Pacheco High School.

Chairwoman Chandra Lee said more than 1,000 people on 54 teams took turns walking the track. The day met the $73,000 goal, and Lee said she expects to surpass $100,000 after a Fresno Grizzlies fundraiser in July.

Forty percent of every $10 ticket sold for the July 19 Grizzlies game goes to Los Banos Relay.

For tickets, contact Lee at (530) 228-4607 or by email at chandraqt@hotmail.com. Lee said Pacheco High students pitched in during the late-night laps and bucked up sleepy walkers.

"It was a really good atmosphere."

The two-day event consists of sporting activities, games, celebrations, educational activities and memorial services.

The aim is to raise cancer awareness and earn money for research, transportation, lodging, caregiving and more.

Los Banos Relay for Life co-chairwoman Teresa Fournier, whose husband, Curtis, has terminal cancer, has been working the better part of a year to raise money.

"We started in September by doing fundraisers," said Fournier. "You just start a team and any way you can you get donations -- by selling stuff, having bake sales or car washes, whatever."

This year Fournier has raised more than $5,000 for Relay for Life.

"You can stop this disease," said Fournier. "We just need the funds. We just need the research. We need government to back more programs."

Kim Donaldson, another participant, assembled numerous gift baskets stuffed full of everything from iTunes gift cards and scrapbooking supplies to 49ers merchandise, all of which were being raffled off during the day.

Her team was apparently successful. Her sister Delores Donaldson chimed in, "We made a good thousand dollars off the raffle alone."

Delores Donaldson said that part of the proceeds will go to help pay for a patient's chemotherapy and the rest will go to the Hodgkin's Lymphoma Foundation.

Other Relay booths had educational materials on numerous types of cancers and the potential for treatment and cures. Some booths featured games where people could win small prizes.

Team "LB Kids," a group of 15 friends and family members led by team captain Viola Inguanzo, came out to help with the event. The team sold food and raffle tickets, raising about $150 for the general Relay for Life fund.

"The most rewarding thing about this is seeing all the people come together and have the same goal in mind -- they want to cure this illness so we won't have to do this anymore," said Inguanzo. "I'm here today because my father passed of kidney cancer. He went from a 200 pound man to a 135 pound man as it went from the kidney, to his lungs, to his brain."

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller contributed to this report.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller contributed to this report.

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