Relay for Life: Attendance up at first blended Kearney/Buffalo Co. event

Relay for Life 2018 (KHGI)

After a controversial merger for some – organizers are calling the 25th annual American Cancer Society's Relay For Life in Buffalo County a success.

This year, the relay raised more than 40 thousand dollars and according the coordinator, money is still coming in.

While their fund raising efforts parallel last year's, organizers said their attendance this year was much higher. They said this is exciting because the relay is not only about money, it's also about the experience.

According to ACS, typically the relay at Yanney Park brings around 250 participants over the course of the night, this year's numbers jumped to an estimated 400. In addition, they said about 25 additional registered survivors were in attendance as well.

This is the first year for a blended Kearney, Buffalo County event and organizers said these numbers surpass last year's combined attendance.

"The joint event came about by looking at some past data and realizing that if we joined manpower, volunteers we could maybe make a bigger impact," said American Cancer Society's community development manager, Sara McCarty. "So, it's definitely a process , you know its not going to happen over night but, you know, we're looking at everything and trying to make sure we can make the best event possible and the biggest impact in our communities."

She said central Nebraska is not the only region seeing combined events.

For next year, the society is actively looking for a new name that will encompass all participants so everyone feels welcome.

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