DakotaDome Relay for Life brings in more than $10,000

DakotaDome Relay for Life brings in more than $10,000 The DakotaDome Relay for Life on Feb. 24 brought in more than $10,000 in donations and in-kind services, serving more than 200 people at the overnight event from midnight to noon Feb. 24.

"That's a great success for our first-ever overnight Relay for Life," said chairwoman Ruth Bylander. "We are grateful to the people who came and to the businesses and organizations who made donations to make the event possible. Even better, dozens of people learned more about cancer, which could lead to healthier lives in the future."

The relay, an educational experience and fund raiser for the American Cancer Society, was sponsored by the USD Special Events Class of Dr. Patrick Wempe and the Clay County ACS. This year's theme was "There's No Place Like Dome."

"The students did most of the work and did a wonderful job," Bylander said. "The relay wouldn't have been possible without them.

"Other special thanks go to Dr. Patrick Wempe, whose leadership was invaluable; Wess Pravecek, last year's chair and this year's entertainment chairwoman; Theresa Spencer, chair of the refreshments committee; Barb Kronaizl, treasurer of the Clay County ACS and leader of Clay County's Road to Recovery; Marci Hovden, chair of the survivor committee; Sue Jopling for assistance with the prize committee and computer aid; and Mary Mock, president of the Clay County ACS," she said.

Top money-raising team was the Vermillion Medical Clinic with $1,295 dollars. The top fund raiser was Katja Berger, a USD student who brought in $260. Kylie Fischbach of the Dylan's Dozens Team was the second top fund raiser with $200. The winning campsite was the Pi Sigma Epsilon "Lifesavers on a Roll" led by Darren Pfeifer. Their camp featured a ceramic gnome and a picket fence.

Sponsors of this year's relay included Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center, Hot Mix 106.3 FM radio, the Vermillion Plain Talk/The Broadcaster, Vermillion Medical Clinic, Clay County Abstract & Title, the Civic Council, Rasmussen Motors and CorTrust Bank. Others have donated goods and services, including the Vermillion Eagles, Air Graphics face painting, Vermillion Printing and Graphics, the Walking Billboard, Dr. Randy Houska and the Volante USD student newspaper.

Stephanie Schoh of Bellezza Salon & Spa in downtown Vermillion finished 21 $10 haircuts during the event and donated the proceeds from haircuts and product sales to the ACS. Special thanks go to The University of South Dakota and the USD Athletic Department for use of

the Dome and advice and assistance.

Forty businesses and organizations in the community contributed to the relay's success by offering more than 100 prizes that were distributed throughout the event. They include: Eye Care Eye Wear, the USD Athletic Department, Chiropractor William Saunders, USD Soccer Team, USD Campus Recreation, McDonalds, Shop EZ, USD Track & Field, Dollar Discount, the Vermillion Credit Union, Bellezza Salon & Spa, Choice Pharmacy, Hollywood Video, Davis Pharmacy, Main Street Books, Tigert Art Gallery, True Value, Recuerdo's, Burger King, Videoland, Silver Dollar, Dairy Queen, Index, Candy Bouquet, Pressing Matters, Pump & Pak, Hawaiian Sun, Superwash, Jill's Hair Co., The Coffee Shop Gallery, Cherry Street Grille, CVC Cellular One, Bob's Amoco, Hair By Stewarts, Stewart Oil Co., Jones' Food Center, Sturdevant's Radio Shack, University Cleaners, Outback Steak House of Sioux City, Olympia Fitness, and South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

The event featured health information and blood sugar screenings provided by Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center; a rock band, The Bettys; food and beverages

provided by Little Italy's, R- Pizza, Domino's, Subway, Hy-Vee, Jones' Food Center, Aramark, Culligan of Yankton and Barista's Brew; and goods donated by CorTrust Bank, Community First National Bank, First National Bank and the Vermillion Credit Union.

The 10 a.m. program featured a solemn color guard presented by the USD Military Science students and the national anthem by USD student Erin Conlon. Then, area cancer survivors, ranging from young children to seniors walked around the track to symbolize courage and hope for the future.

Throughout the event, luminarias � to honor cancer survivors or remember those who have died � circled the inner track. Five Vermillion businesses collected luminaria donations before the event: the Civic Council store, Deb's Hallmark, the Nook 'N Cranny, the Vermillion Beauty Shop and the Vermillion Credit Union.

The relay is a team event dedicated to fighting cancer. Funds go to the American Cancer Society and about 60 percent comes back to the community in some form. The ACS supports programs from the national level to the local level:

* Research for a cure and better treatments.

* Prevention and early detection such as the low-cost mammograms offered recently at Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center.

* Information through events like the DakotaDome Relay and the Great American Smokeout and through publications and videos.

* Help for cancer patients and their families. For the Road to Recovery, for example, area volunteer drivers rack up thousands of miles each year, giving patients free rides to treatment centers.

* A comprehensive Web site, at www.cancer.org, with information on many aspects of cancer.

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