Hot weekend doesn’t deter Chino Relay for Life walkers - Champion Newspapers: News

Hot weekend doesn’t deter Chino Relay for Life walkers

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Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2018 8:00 am

Braving hot and humid conditions, members of Chino Relay for Life raised more than $176,000 for the American Cancer Society last weekend at Ayala Park in Chino.

So far, the Chino Relay has generated $176,744 in donations towards its $200,000 goal. That total is expected to rise as donations may be made through the end of August.

Temperatures hit the high 90s during the 24-hour event on a grassy field behind the Chino Valley YMCA building. Team members dealt with the uncomfortable weather by using generator-powered fans, drinking lots of water, and standing in front of a water-cooled industrial fan set up in a large tent where cancer survivors ate free meals and received free massages.

More than 50 teams, comprised of more than 800 team members, offered items for sale and raffle opportunities at Ayala Park.

Fundraising efforts for the 2018 Relay began in September, right after last year’s event.

Robbie Martinez Lujan of Chino, a member of the team Family and Friends, donated the most money as an individual: $10,448. Others in the top 10 individual donors were Bryan O’Neill of Chino, $7,680; Janet Homonnay of Upland, $6,336; Phyllis Snyder of Chino Hills, $3,600; Barb Shiffermiller of Riverside, $3,238; Deborah Stasiak of Fontana, $3,233; Yvette Olivas Macias of West Covina, $3,129; Julie Pizzitola of Hemet, $3,000; Dawn O’Neill of Chino, $2,849; and Josh Munch of Chino, $2,578. 

Mr. Munch, a city of Chino employee, served for the third year as leader of the entire event. This was Mrs. O’Neill’s second year as co-leader

Top fundraising team was Ring of Sunshine, based in Chino, $20,000. Others in the top 10 fundraising teams were Cancer Crushers, $15,707; City of Chino

Employees, $13,482; Ramblin’ for Rose, $11,749; Cheve’s Champions, $10,754; Family and Friends, based in Chino, $10,548; Team Number No. 2’s, based in Chino, $10,117; Monster Misfits, $7,833; and A New Hope, $6,845.

Awards handed out at the event’s closing ceremony honored teams and members who went the extra mile for the Relay. 

Outstanding Rookie Youth Team award went to team Rising Against Cancer Everyone (RACE), teens from Valencia High School in Placentia. They have been participating in several Relay for Life events in Southern California this year.

Outstanding Rookie Team and Most Spirited Team awards went to Cancer Crushers, based in Upland. 

The earned the spirit award by collecting the most spirit points — 68,000 — for participating in different events during the 24-hour event. The points were awarded in increments of 100.

Best decorated campsite went to team Ring of Sunshine for its Wizard of Oz-inspired site, complete with yellow brick road, rainbow, and large cardboard cut-out of Judy Garland as the movie’s heroine Dorothy. The team motto for the campsite was “There’s No Place Like Hope.”

Tina Strohman of Chino, a member of Cheve’s Champions team, received the Dr. Gordy Klatt Award as the most inspirational Relay member. Ms. Strohman was credited with participating in just about every event during the year-long Relay fundraising season and keeping teams motivated, especially during the wee hours of the 24-hour event at Ayala Park.

The late Dr. Klatt, a Washington state surgeon specializing in colorectal cancer, founded the Relay for Life in 1985 by completing 83 miles around a track during a 24-hour period to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In March 2012, Dr. Klatt was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and he participated that year in Relay For Life for the first time as a cancer survivor. He died August 3, 2014, at the age of 71 from heart failure after battling cancer.

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