In all, 27 teams and 350 participants helped raise $26,921.13 for the American Cancer Society during the night of April 26.
By Thursday, that amount had climbed to $34,606.
Normagrace Flores, who helped coordinate this year’s Relay for Life, said that she considered it a success.
“Everyone had a great time, even in the early morning,” she said.
While walking is the core of the event, it is the games and entertainment that keep so many people on the field from 7 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Saturday.
“This year, we added new activities and events like the ‘Bras For A Cure’ fashion show and auction. The bra silent auction brought in $331,” she said.
“We also added Bingo and Loteria, which turned out to be a hit with participants and visitors.
“It was 4:30 a.m., and people were still laughing and playing Loteria, which is what we wanted.”
She added that this year they also made a change to the traditional luminaria ceremony.
“This year, we were lucky to have the employees of the Beeville Institutional Parole Office sponsor the ceremony,” she said. “The office donated 600 LED tea lights, which replaced the regular candles used in previous years.
“We were also lucky to have guest speaker Tammy Sharp of Dickinson, who is a Hero of Hope for the American Cancer Society.”
Tammy Sharp became involved with Relay For Life after her daughter, Kelly, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma a week before her 13th birthday in 2001.
Today, Tammy continues to lead people to the American Cancer Society by sharing her daughter’s story.
“Every time I am able to tell Kelly’s story, I am honoring my promise to her that she would not be forgotten,” says Tammy. “Each year I hear her name called out during the Luminaria Ceremony, she is remembered. I Relay so Kelly is not forgotten — to continue her fight and to do what I can to help others not to have to hear the words, ‘Your child has cancer.’”
Flores said that of the 27 registered teams, one raised $5,000, another raised $4,000, a third raised $3,000 and eight teams raised between $1,000 and $1,800. She added that top individual fundraisers include: Arturo Contreras and Marcos Garza raising more than $2,000 each and two participants raising more than $1,000 each.
Flores described the event as bittersweet for her.
While it was a success, it was also her last year as chairman.
“I hope whoever takes over next year will remember what we did and take it to the next level.”