Event raises $51,000 for cancer research

It was the most fun South Whidbey had seen in a long time, so it was no surprise that people turned out by the hundreds for another edition of the Relay for Life Friday and Saturday.

After more than a week of working through some of the most tragic events the Southend has seen in some time, relay participants concentrated on getting fit, eating good food and raising money for cancer research during the shortest night of the year.

In all, 25 teams and more than 400 people raised over $51,000 during the event, which benefits the American Cancer Society. Relay coordinator Kay Stanley said that though this amount was short of the $70,000 goal, it was still a lot of money, considering that islanders had already contributed to 9-11 relief and to funds for cancer patients Ryan Furman and Marguerite Crooks.

"It was an outpouring of love," she said. "This is just a wonderful community to live in."

Not everyone gave just money. Six-year-old Alyscia Spratt, a Langley resident, allowed a hair stylist to cut off her long black hair so it could go to someone who had lost his or her hair to chemotherapy.

"She wanted to give it to a little girl who didn't have any hair," said Spratt's mother, Stephanie.

The relay, which is an annual event, raises money though teams of people who walk and run laps of the South Whidbey High School track. This year marks the sixth annual relay running.

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