FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Last Friday and Saturday people gathered at West Valley to support the American Cancer Society's annual fundraiser "Relay for Life".
On the first weekend in June, volunteers and community members meet to show their support for cancer survivors, or to honor loved ones who have succumbed to the disease.
This year, the event raised over $100,000, with the GCI Salmon Patties bringing in the most funds at $20,496.
Relay for Life Event Chair Patsy Bernier has a personal connection to Relay—her 28-year-old stepdaughter recently tested positive for the breast cancer susceptibility gene and underwent a double mastectomy just a few days prior to the event.
Bernier explained the purpose of the Relay for Life teams, and how the commitment of the volunteers is integral to the success of the American Cancer Society.
"Cancer is something that never sleeps, so we go for 24 hours," explained Bernier. "Of course, it's really hard for one person to do that, so you get teams to do that to raise money. The more teams, usually, the more money. Every person that participates on the committee is passionate about finding the cure for cancer. And without these people's help, we would not be nearly as far as we are, today. The American Cancer Society has won 47 Nobel Prize winning researches out of 207. 47. That's a lot. And that's because these people work their tail off at relay to get money to raise money for cancer and for cancer research."