Relay For Life brings in $55,026

Rainy weather around dawn Saturday cut short the Allen County Relay For Life, but not before organizers raised more than $55,000 for the American Cancer Society.
The 12-hour relay, which began Friday evening, was called off shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday, plenty of time for participants to walk away with sore muscles and feet and bring in $55,026, reported Deb Scheibmeir, one of the relay’s organizers.
“We’ve confirmed that much, with more money still coming,” Scheibmeir said.
A number of the walkers covered several miles around the courthouse square.
Brian Donovan walked the farthest, covering 28.5 miles. Renee Wade was next at 23 miles, Staci Talkington went 22.25 miles, Sherry Donovan, 22 miles, Rodney Crays, 20 miles, and Tina Donovan, 18.75 miles.
Ina Railsback of the Iola Sisters OK5A team was the top earning individual, collecting $3,050. Saundra Upshaw of Dynamic Duo and Friends raised $1,755 and Rhonda Wolfe, Allen County Hospital, collected $1,192.
The Gates Corporation team collected $10,378, followed by Iola Sisters OK5A, $5,125, and Herff Jones, $4,686.
A benefit auction, featuring things donated by area sponsors, netted $1,233. In addition, Kim Isbell and her USD 258 team took pictures throughout the relay. The pictures were saved to CDs and are available for purchase by calling Isbell at 365-8156 .
Donations totaling $110.61 came in through the best tent contest, in which voters opted for their favorite by donating money. The ACH tent was “judged” the best at $46.91, followed by Gates Corporation, $39.25.
As an incentive to keep walkers at the relay through the night, tickets were given to the walkers for each hour they stayed past midnight. The holder of the winning ticket, Paul Upshaw, was given $100, which he immediately donated back to the relay.