“The total as of now is $31,852.45 with some more money coming in,” Loretta “Yordy” Eastwood said on Sunday, a day after the relay ended. Eastwood co-chaired this year’s event along with Melonie Dolphin.
By Eastwood’s estimation, at least 300 people were in attendance at the Grand County High School track and football field during the first few hours of the relay, starting from the survivors’ dinner at 5 p.m. Friday until the luminaria ceremony that took place shortly after 10 p.m.
The number of participants then dwindled as the night wore on, especially after gusty winds around 1:45 a.m. caused nearly all of the tents, pop-up shelters, and canopies on the field to either get blown away or be taken down.
“There were only about three or four sleeping tents left up after that,” Eastwood said.
By the time dawn broke and breakfast was served at 6 a.m. the following morning, the number of participants remaining was down to about 32 people representing seven of the 18 registered teams. In addition, approximately 15 cheerleaders from GCHS also stayed the entire night, Eastwood said. Others who stayed all night included members of Eastwood’s and her daughter’s families, members of the Delta Chi sorority team, and the Gregg and Terri Stucki family, who provided “lap count” necklaces and beads for those who wanted to keep track of the total distance they traveled during the relay.
Local high school student Kalob Windsor ran, jogged, or walked a total of 11 miles – 44 laps around the 400-meter track – while his siblings and dad also contributed to the cause, logging a dozen or more laps each.
“At least two, if not three teams had walkers on the field most of the night,” Eastwood added. “There were five people still on the track when it ended.”
This year’s event had a “Cruise for a Cure” theme, with each team’s station representing a different “port of call” for an imaginary cruise ship voyage around the globe. Many of the stations had games, souvenirs, and refreshments available, with the proceeds going toward raising money to help cancer research.
“We had a great time, and would like to thank the community and sponsors for their generous support,” Eastwood said. She also thanked co-chairwoman Dolphin along with committee members Jessiqua Zufelt, Chantell Murphy, Tisha Ayers, Sheila Thayn, Kama Brewer, Taryn Eastwood, and Kathy Turvey.