Rosemount Relay for Life raises thousands for cancer
Event exceeds its goal by $10,000
The Rosemount Relay for Life exceeded its fundraising goal by over $10,000 as its $40,588 will help fund cancer research and support families who have been affected by the disease.
The relay, which was held June 22 and 23 at Irish Stadium, included 358 registered participants, had 69 cancer survivors and numerous other community members who participated.
“I thought the event was exciting, well received and a smashing success,” said Kathy Plumley, who was in charge of the silent auction. “My hat’s off to all who put this together, walked and supported the cause.”
During the opening ceremony, Josh Payette, the son of Jeff Payette, spoke of his role as the event’s Honorary Caregiver.
Jeff Payette was to be the event’s Honorary Chairperson. The 50-year-old died June 10 in his sleep due to complications from esophageal cancer.
When Jeff was asked to be the Honorary Chairperson he told his son all he wanted was to be able to walk around the track with him.
He was unable to do that, but he was with his family and those participating in the event in spirit.
Jeff was known for demonstrating a positive outlook throughout his cancer journey, which started when he was diagnosed three years ago.
Josh said his dad never let the cancer define him.
“He would say: ‘Never give up on hope because it might show up at your door one day,’ ” Josh said.
Jeff, a custodian at Scott Highlands Middle School, worked as much as his condition and treatment would allow him.
As caregivers, Josh said each member of the family took on a different role.
Since his father’s death, Josh said he’s in a new role.
“I am the man of the house now,” he said. “I have to step it up. It’s a role most kids my age don’t have.”
The other Honorary Caregiver was Dylan Johnson, the teenage son of Kim Johnson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“The two young speakers this year were quite impressive,” said Traci Davis, a member of the Survivor Committee.
Johnson spoke prior to the evening ceremony when luminaries decorated in honor of those who have battled cancer were illuminated around the track.
“The highlight for me is always the luminaria ceremony,” Davis said. “It is so moving and the bagpiper did a great job.”
There is still time to support the relay and its fundraising total.
More information is at www.relayforlife.org/rosemountmn.