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2010 Emmet County Relay for Life 14 years: $1,000,000+

By Staff | Jun 8, 2010

At left, Relay for Life participants release baloons in symbolizing those who are battling cancer. Find more photos from the event on Page 8 of today’s paper and online at cu.esthervilledailynes.com. EDN photo by David Swartz

The battle against cancer is generally a personal one.

However, Emmet County residents and survivors have a lot of fight in them-$1 million worth over the last 14 years.

Over that time span, Emmet County Relay for Life brings out most of the county.

This county, which has seen its population drop over the last decade from around 11,000 to approximately 10,250, has watched Relay for Life grow nearly every year. The event has consistently raised over $100,000 in recent years.

Michael and Michelle Welch, who co-chaired the event in its inaugural years, were again in town for the event Saturday in Estherville’s Library Square.

The suvivor’s lap is what Relay of Life is all about. Ås part of the 2010 Emmet County event, cancer survivors and their families take the initial lap around library square applauded by friends and neighbors. EDN photoi by David Swartz

Current event co-chair Scott Olk presented the couple with a Relay for Life print during the opening ceremonies.

Michelle remembered when they began planning the first Relay event in the basement of Holy Family Hospital.

“Dollar by dollar, every one of you helped and had a part in this,” she said.

“This is what can be accomplished when people work together,” said Michael.

The 2010 Honorary Cancer Survivors for this year’s events, Carolyn Walz, Sandy Mann and Tom and Dawn Umscheid, shared their stories of fighting the diseases prior to the annual survivors’ walk.

This year’s event featured 19 teams.

While rain intermittently drenched the walkers throughout the day, the skies seemed to clear at the appropriate times.

Prior to the opening ceremony, rain fell hard for about 40 to 45 minutes and cleared up 15 minutes before noon.

Walkers again endured heavy rains in mid-afternoon, but skies cleared early in the evening so the remainder of the events could take place.

The Patin Dancers drew crowds back to downtown Estherville, shortly followed by the balloon ceremony for all those who are battling cancer.

The weather was perfect with clear skies by the time the luminaries honoring survivors, those currently with cancer and those who lost the battle.