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Celebrating lives, fighting cancer: Farmington Relay for Life raises $31,000

Two Farmington cancer survivors and friends joined their granddaughters. Alexis Vought (left), Ashley Vought with grandmother Ann Muzzy and friend Nancy Akin and Chloe Vought. In the back row are Tiger cheerleaders Trinity Le and Liv Talley with the Farmington Tiger Pouncer mascot. Kara Hildreth / contributor 1 / 4
Farmington cheerleaders applauded teams at the Relay for Life of Farmington Friday night at the indoor track inside Farmington High School. Kara Hildreth / contirbutor 2 / 4
Luminary bags honored the lives of loved ones who died from cancer. Teams like Grandpas Groupies, Pink and Black: We Fight Back! and Keep Calm and Walk On raised money. Kara Hildreth / contributor 3 / 4
The Relay for Life of Farmington entertained with Zumba, a water balloon toss, a scavenger hunt and board games during the seven-hour fundraiser to aid locals fighting cancer. Kara Hildreth / contributor 4 / 4

Teams at Farmington's Relay for Life showed up to celebrate lives and lead the fight against cancer.

The annual fundraiser was hosted inside Farmington High School Friday, July 21. This year the potential stormy weather led to a venue change from the outdoor track. Many activities like Zumba and board games were hosted inside the large, open space of Tiger Commons.

"I am just always pleased with how much the Farmington community supports and is involved and we have great involvement with the sponsorships and the city leadership," said Jen Anderson, community manager with American Cancer Society. She leads five territories in the Twin Cities. "It is great to see the fire department, the mayor and the superintendent all show up and give love and support from that area, in addition to all those who fundraise and walk."

Event chair Connie Honrud said as a breast cancer survivor for several years, she has also served as a caretaker for her husband Arvid who fought bladder cancer and today is a cancer survivor.

Nearly 20 teams with names like Pink and Black: We Fight Back! Endure for a Cure and Arvy's Army raised $31,451. The funds support local families, Anderson said.

"We are so blessed to have the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and all the hospitals in the metro area and a lot of the funds go for services given in the area," Anderson said.

Sharon Rogge served as the honorary survivor speaker and Tim Grundlar sang the National Anthem at the ceremony.

Farmington School District Superintendent Jay Haugen shared words as the honorary caregiver speaker. His wife Janet died of cancer a few months ago after a three-and-half-year fight.

Jamie Stonehouse led the silent lap around the track during the luminaria ceremony as she played music with bagpipes.

"The main thing we want to communicate is how cancer is something that has no boundaries and it can hit anyone," Honrud said.

The Relay for Life mission was to fundraise and be able to save more lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer, Honrud added.

"I want to say thank you to the event leadership team and the small group of people that put on the event — they put together a phenomenal event and did a great job," Anderson said.

Cancer survivors or caretakers who may look to form teams next year can contact Honrud at 612-720-5789 or email connieskid@charter.net. Any questions about next year's Farmington Relay for Life can also be directed to Jen Anderson at jen.anderson@cancer.org.

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