June 12, 2009

Relay for Life: Remembering ... and raising funds

Mitch and Jill Nowik of Racine carried Izzy, 3, around the track

They came on foot, some with canes and walkers. A few were in wheelchairs. Kids came in baby buggies, wagons and in their parents' arms or on Daddy's broad shoulders.

By early evening, hundreds were making their way around the outdoor track of Case High School, participating in the American Cancer Society's 16th Relay for Life. The first lap around the track was reserved for 250 cancer survivors. They were followed by the members of 85 fund-raising teams, many of whom will walk all night -- until 10 a.m. Saturday -- fulfilling pledges to help fight the deadly disease.

Many of the teams had pitched tents and a few had started their campfires, as the first of their walkers started around the track, to walk for an hour, two, or longer.

As if the walking weren't enough, scores participated in an enthusiastic Zumba exhibition in the center of the field, led by Team Zumba experts. The Latin version of jazzercise is an appropriate companion to the relay, since exercise of any kind is good for health.

Relay co-chair John Nielsen said hopes the event raises about $250,000. A disc jockey will play music all night, and there's a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Dan Hernandez of Racine dressed like this 'just for fun'

Zumba participants were nothing if not enthusiastic


  1. This is a fantastic and emotional event. Big thanks go to the organizers and all of their hard work in putting these events together.

    This was also the DJ's 10th year of volunteering at this event and he should be congratulated and thanked for it as well.

  2. I don't know about the rest of you, but I was a little tired and sore from all of the walking today! What a great event!

  3. What a wonderful event. All of the participants should be so proud.

  4. Zumba is not a "Latin form of jazzercise"!