Relay For Life exceeded its goal this weekend by raising a whopping $56,127 for cancer research.
"We are so excited, it's just phenomenal," said committee member Shari Durgan. The group's goal had been $50,000, she said.
The annual event was held over a 24-hour period July 15 and 16, with a total of 43 relay teams, with 295 participants, walking around the Madras High School track.
Despite a thunderstorm, the silent auction was the best ever, bringing in $9,000, according to committee member Teri Drew.
"Saturday, just as the silent auction was winding up, it just poured on us, and the wind was whippin' for an hour," Durgan said.
New this year were "virtual teams" which did not relay, but sold luminaria for the Saturday evening ceremony honoring cancer patients.
Durgan reported that the top four fundraising teams were: first, Mountain View Hospital District with $4,390; second, Madras Medical Group with $4,313; third, Madras Pace Setters (Relay organizing committee members) with $3,290; and fourth, Home Federal Bank Bad News Bankers with $2,887.
The top three participants were Cindy Wunsch, who brought in $1,126; Shandal McKinney with $751; and Dr. Chris Keane with $750.
"There were eight teams which brought in over $2,500 each, so they all did really well," Durgan said.