LEWISBURG — It is certainly a wet night to be outside but hundreds of people in Union County got their umbrellas out Friday afternoon for Relay for Life in Union County.
It is the 11th year for the fundraising event in Lewisburg and this year, teams reached the $1 million mark.
The Lewisburg Relay for Life teams are proud of their million dollar accomplishment. And this year, organizers challenged teams to collect one million pennies on top of that. In addition, one man participating in the Lewisburg Relay for Life has a special goal of his own.
Umbrellas and rain boots are the fashion at this year’s Relay for Life in Lewisburg. Over the next 24 hours, hundreds of people will walk around the track near lewisburg. Ron Ott hopes to run around the track 400 times. That’s 100 miles!
“I had a friend who died of bone cancer at the age of 23. I have a close friend who is going through cancer right now. It’s the 100th year for the American Cancer Society, so I figured why not do 100 miles?” Ott explained.
A few years ago, Ott ran 75 miles at the Lewisburg Relay for Life. His family is cheering him on and marking down each lap he takes around the track.
“I’m turning the laps that he goes around. And his dad is doing the feet,” said Mary Ann Ott.
“I do have people here supporting me and there’s people coming over to walk with me and run with me throughout the night to keep my motivation up,” Ron added.
Over the past 11 years, the Lewisburg Relay for Life has raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society. To mark that milestone, this year the relay teams collected more than one million pennies.
“Isn’t this exciting? We still have pennies coming in. A lot of the businesses in the area – I think we had 50 businesses – collect pennies for us,” said Relay for Life Chair Christy Zelechoski.
Dollar amounts aside, people have very personal reasons to relay.
“We relay for our daughter, Elizabeth Michelle Santorine, who lost her battle with cancer on January 9, 2000,” said Marguerite Santorine.
“My grandmother died. It’s a good cause so people don’t have to lose their family members. We can help find a cure,” said Tommy Bhangdia.
The Lewisburg Relay for Life runs until Saturday at one at the Lewisburg Middle School track. If you’re in the area, you can go cheer on Ron Ott as he attempts 100 miles.