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Sauk County set for first county-wide Relay for Life

July 17, 2017 GMT

The communities of Sauk City, Prairie du Sac, Baraboo and Reedsburg will join together for the first Relay for Life of Sauk County, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Held previously as separate fundraisers in each community, all municipalities will come together on Aug. 4 at August Derleth Park in Sauk City to bring more continuity to the Relay, said Camilla Jackson, community manager at the American Cancer Society.

“The three communities of Reedsburg, Baraboo and Sauk Prairie have a lot of continuity with their events,” Jackson said. “Families live in those three communities and work in another so the thought was by combining the three events, which were all seeing a decline in participation, that we could revamp and reenergize the events, which we are really excited about.”

Relay for Life events are held in more than 5,200 communities across the U.S. and in 27 countries. Since 1985 the event has brought in more than $6 billion in the United States. Last year’s events raised $279 million. Each new team participating in the Relay averages $786 in funds raised.

During the event, team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each team is asked to have a member on the track walking at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

Teams set up themed campsites and raise funds by collecting donations for food, games and other activities. The funds raised count toward each team’s fundraising goal. Once the sun sets, luminaries, which can be purchased in honor of a cancer survivor or in memory of a friend or loved one who lost their battle, are placed around the track to light a path for participants.

Jody Rothe, a volunteer for the Sauk County Relay, said while the main purpose of the event is to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and prevention, it’s also a lot of fun.

“There’s a lot of excitement, people having fun, live music and food and beverages in addition to people walking for cancer awareness,” Rothe said. “And there’s a lot of reflection on the people who have been impacted by cancer.”

During the event, survivors are honored with a special meal. Survivors are encouraged to preregister online at the American Cancer Society’s website, www.cancer.org under the Relay for Life event. Other activities featured include a raffle and silent auction, sno-cone machine, bouncy house/obstacle course, face painting, demonstrations, local vendors and more.

Amanda Ringold, who also volunteers for Relay, said they are trying hard to get more teams signed up. As of July 13, the Relay for Life of Sauk County had 20 teams, 53 participants and nine survivors signed up for the event.

“It’s a huge goal for us to increase the number of teams this year,” Ringold said. “It only takes two minutes and a team can be just one individual.”

“It’s our first time learning together; we wanted to incorporate things that have worked in all three communities,” Rothe said.

“We consolidated to have one Sauk County event,” Ringold said. “Volunteers from each of these communities joined forces to start something new and fun for the whole community.We have a big vision and high hopes.”

In addition to the Relay, the committee is holding a car wash and brat stand with proceeds to benefit the American cancer Society from 4-8 p.m. on July 27 at Courtesy Ford, 837 Phillips Blvd, Sauk City.