Rifle Area Relay for Life rallies to fight cancer | PostIndependent.com

Rifle Area Relay for Life rallies to fight cancer

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Despite very hot temperatures, food intended for cancer survivors that was stolen and power problems, around 150 participants helped raise nearly $46,000 in the annual Rifle Area Relay For Life at Rifle High School on Friday and Saturday, June 28-29.

Event Chairman Tom Sowieja said 16 teams took part, walking around the track nonstop to help raise awareness of – and funds for – the American Cancer Society’s fight against the disease.

Sowieja also noted the fundraising total may go over $50,000 if one team, which raised $5,200, gets a matching amount from their company. That would still be below the $75,000 goal, but Sowieja said the state of the area economy hurt donations.

Event officials scrambled at the last minute to find food for the annual cancer survivor’s dinner, after they found all the lasagna prepared by the Italian Underground in Glenwood Springs had been picked up the day before by someone not affiliated with the event. Sowieja said City Market in Rifle was able to make deli chicken dinners for 35 to 40 survivors.

The music that helps keep walkers going had a late start, Sowieja said, until a padlock on an electrical outlet box could be removed.

Still, participants kept walking around the track and enjoyed diversions such as forward and backward three-legged races, Sowieja said.

Anyone wishing to get involved on a team or on a committee can contact Sowieja at 618-7017.

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