Cancer research got a $575,000 boost this weekend at the Tacoma-born Relay for Life.
The 24-hour event affiliated with the American Cancer Society wrapped up Saturday evening at Mount Tahoma High School. It began in Tacoma in 1986, and co-founder Pat Flynn said Saturday that the relay now happens in 5,200 communities across the U.S., as well as 22 countries.
“It’s the single largest health-related fundraiser in the world,” she said.
Brooke Longacre, with the ACS, said the Tacoma event was a smashing success, raising more money than last year.
“I was a little worried about the weather, but it turned out OK,” she said. The more than 2,300 people who participated had to deal with wind and some rain, but mostly missed the driving storms of Friday afternoon.
Longacre said more than 600 cancer survivors registered for the walk, which took on extra meaning this year in light of the news last week that the relay’s founder, Dr. Gordon Klatt, recently was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Flynn said “this was a special relay for him.” At the relay’s traditional luminaria ceremony Friday night, lighted tributes came in from all over the country and as far away as Japan and New Zealand.