Cause to 'believe in'
BESSEMER - Names of loved ones were written on paper bags that lined the track at Massie Field Friday afternoon.
On the infield grass were tents, a dunk tank and a big, pink logging truck all set up to help raise money in the battle against cancer.
The Gogebic County Relay for Life event typically raises between $20,000 and $30,000, and Carole Lillar, the event's chairperson, said this year's goal was to break that high-end mark.
The nice weather Friday might have helped to do just that.
"We've had so much rain, that we have not been outside in many years," Lillar said. "So we are extremely happy to be outdoors."
Lillar said the event, concluding with a breakfast this morning at the Bessemer VFW from 7 to 11, sees varied attendance, but the years with low participation don't deter the event's committee from pushing on.
"All of us really believe in the cause, so we're not going to give up," she said. "We just need more help."
Enbridge, one of the new teams that signed up for the event, brought a dunk tank to help raise money. Another one, Shamco, a logging company from Iron River, brought a pink truck. The company has been working to raise money with people and organizations it does business with.
Todd Shamion, of Shamco, said Friday afternoon they've raised about $12,200 so far, which will all go to the American Cancer Society.
Shamion's wife died of cancer about eight years ago, part of the motivation behind the effort.
"Our small company, which has 20 employees, has had four people that have lost somebody, and we've had other people that survived cancer," he said. "It touches everybody. Everybody knows somebody that's had it, or knows somebody that's died from it, or they've had it. So it's just like, maybe we can raise a little money with this truck."
Shamion said the company plans to participate in more Relay for Life events next year, and looks to raise more money after recently purchasing two more pieces of equipment to be painted pink.
"We really just got started with that, and we're going to get a little more aggressive with people that we do business with," he said. "We all pitch in and try to do what we can, maybe we can make a difference and not have so many people that lose the battle, or find a cure."