Relay for life takes local approach

Published on Thu, May 24, 2001 by K. Cunningham

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Relay for life takes local approach

By K. Cunningham

Last Sunday was special for many people, especially Lisa Barnes and Angie Dixon. Both of their lives have been affected by cancer. Barnes’ aunt died from cancer. Her father has been diagnosed with colon cancer. Dixons grandfather died from leukemia. The pair organized this event to raise money for The Relay For Life, a fund raiser for cancer research.

The Relay For Life has become the largest non-profit group in the nation and the event has spread to over 3,125 communities in all 50 states. Barnes and Dixon’s team will take part in the 24-hour walk/run in Bellingham. At night, lighted luminaries (paper bags with a candle inside) are placed around the track. Printed on each bag is the name of somebody who has cancer or has died from cancer.

All the money from the auction will sponsor Barnes’ team in the Relay For Life race. A portion of the money will stay in Whatcom County. The event started with a silent auction. Items ranging from paintings to gift baskets and car maintenance certificates were up for auction. A live auction took place after the silent auction ended. It soon turned in to a bidding war between families and friends, items had bids sometimes reaching $50 over their retail price price, with furniture donated by the Blaine Marina, Seattle Mariner baseball tickets, a five item set that included a baseball, a banner, two books (signed by Sparky Anderson) and a movie, a night’s stay at the Inn at Semiahmoo and a custom stained glass piece from the Red Caboose. Everything that was at the auction was donated by local merchants and people in the community.

The Blackberry House and the La Bonne Maison provided refreshments. The Blackberry House donated some of its delicious blackberry cobbler and cookies, while La Bonne Maison provided a vegetable tray, sandwiches, meatballs and chicken drumettes.

The Blaine high school jazz band, under the direction of Bob Gray, supplied entertainment during the silent auction, playing plenty of favorites like “Kansas City,” “Here, There and Every Where” and many more.

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