HOUGHTON - Being a cancer survivor was a big part of why Alice Reynolds walked in this year's American Cancer Society Copper Country Relay For Life, but she may have participated even if she hadn't gotten the disease.
Reynolds was one of about 120 survivors taking part in the Relay For Life at the Houghton High School track Friday and Saturday.
She's a four-year survivor of kidney cancer, which eventually spread, Reynolds said.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Some participants in the Relay For Life take laps on the Houghton High School track Saturday. Carl Fulsher, community representative for the American Cancer Society based in Marquette, said 30 teams took part this year, and about $85,000 was raised over the weekend. However, he expects the total will rise to $100,000.
"It went to my liver, but I'm OK," she said.
This is her fifth Relay For Life, and Reynolds said she keeps coming back because of its important mission.
"To hopefully find a cure for this terrible disease," she said.
Carl Fulsher, community representative for the ACS based in Marquette, said he was very pleased with the turnout of 30 teams for the 24-hour event.
"It went great," he said. "We had beautiful weather. Everything went on schedule."
About $85,000 was raised for the event itself, but Fulsher said more donations will come in up to August, so expects the final total to be about $100,000.
"It'll be top in the (Upper Peninsula)," he said.
People in Marquette are starting to develop a good effort for Relay For Life, also, which Fulsher said will develop a good competition between the two counties. This year $90,000 was raised by Marquette Relay participants.
Fulsher said a wrap-up meeting for this year's Relay will take place on July 23 at the Super 8 Motel in Houghton. He hopes new committee members will join at that meeting, also.
"We're in a rebuilding mode," he said.
At the wrap-up meeting, Fulsher said planning will begin for the 2013 Relay For Life.
"It really does go yearround," he said.
However, Fulsher said because Finn Fest and several other local events will be taking place on the weekend Relay usually takes place, another date for the event will have to be decided upon.
During the 2013 Relay For Life, Fulsher said participants 30 to 65 years old will be asked to take part in the Cancer Prevention Study 3. The studies started in the 1950s, and each participant is asked to be involved for 20 years. The focus for CPS 3 is environmental and genetic relationships to cancer.
Mark Pittillo, Portage Health director of food services, said the hospital's team sold tacos as a fundraiser, and they took in $1,050 during the event, partly because some people were extremely generous with their donations.
"We had a couple give us a hundred-dollar bill for one taco," he said.
The Portage Health team stayed for the entire 24 hours of Relay, Pittillo said.
"It's something to be proud of," he said.
Sitting with Reynolds in the shade of a portable awning was Vicki Paavo, who said she was a 24-year survivor of cervical cancer. She started walking in Relay For Life five years ago.
"I do it to support the memory of my dad (who had emphysema) and to support myself and all cancer survivors," she said.