No Eatonville Relay for Life this year

Fund-raiser for American Cancer Society is being combined with relay that's held in Puyallup

After 15 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds for the American Cancer Society, the Eatonville Relay for Life has taken its last lap.
The Cancer Society has pulled its individual support of the Eatonville event and combined it with a relay that will be held in Puyallup in June.

Participants who normally would have taken part in Eatonville’s relay will instead be invited to join the one in Puyallup.

Last year, teams and individuals doing hundreds of laps in the walkathon at Eatonville High School’s track and field June 3-4 raised about $38,000.

That brought the total amount of money produced by the Eatonville relay to more than $700,000 since its start in 2004.

Small towns such as Eatonville have lost Cancer Society staff support as the organization reduced its number of employees. So relays from multiple communities are merged in a single location.

Organizers of the Eatonville event note its past participants and teams can still participate in Relay for Life, just under the Puyallup banner. And so far they are. One of the top fund-raisers so far is a group called Team Eatonville, whose pledges totaling $4,518 is leading all teams in the drive to reach the Puyallup relay’s goal of $150,000.

Donations through Relay for Life benefit Cancer Society programs for cancer patients and research for a cure in the fight against the disease.
Jane Henderson, one of the Eatonville organizers, said the Cancer Society provides t-shirts for participants, signs and other promotional material, as well as management of the money that’s raised, along with a staff person who works with multiple relays. The one assigned to Eatonville was laid off, but Eatonville relayers can still have that support “by joining up with Puyallup's organization,” Henderson said.

The Puyallup Relay for Life is scheduled for June 9 at a site to be decided. In past years, the event has been staged at Sparks Stadium, a Puyallup School District football and track facility in downtown Puyallup.

A separate event is being organized in Eatonville as a local replacement of Relay for Life. Henderson said it will be held in July on a date to be announced and will include some of the same activities that were traditional parts of past relays.

Henderson, writing on behalf of past participants shared the following about what’s next locally in place of Relay for Life:
"Stay tuned for more information about our special event happening in July -- A Day In the Park, which will include the traditional cancer survivor luncheon, survivor’s walk, the luminary display and slide show honoring those we’ve lost to the disease, as well as food, entertainment, and lots of fun for everyone. New this year: Vendors and craftspeople are invited to participate in exchange for a small donation. Community input is welcome, as the event is now in the planning stages. Call or leave a message for Christine Blackett at 360-832-3201."


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