LIBERTY - After several years at Churchill Park, the Liberty Relay For Life returned to the Liberty High School stadium where it started 13 years ago.
Bearing signs "Kick Out Cancer," "Friends Don't Let Friends Fight Cancer Alone," and "Round Up a Cure," more than 30 teams from Girard, Hubbard, Liberty and McDonald took on low temperatures and heavy rains for the 24-hour walk.
The 13th annual event raised $72,000 for the American Cancer Society toward research to find a cure, while honoring those who have battled cancer.
Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland
Peggy Kay, co-chair of the cancer survivor lap, left, and cancer survivors Candy Eliser of Hubbard, Maxine McGaughy of Warren, Lisa Bernard of Hubbard and Sally Blau of Liberty lead the cancer survivor lap around Liberty High School stadium on Friday.
Liberty Relay co-chairs Ron Scirocco and Carole Wimer said they were excited to be back at the high school stadium and were able in six weeks to switch the location of the Relay from the park to the stadium.
''It is an amazing gathering. We are grateful that Liberty Schools has welcomed us back to their campus,'' Wimer said.
Over the course of the 13 years, the event has raised $1.9 million for ACS.
''This is Liberty at its finest. We will continue to fight until no one ever has to hear the words, 'You have cancer,'" Scirocco said.
Liberty Schools Superintendent Stan Watson said the district views returning the relay to the school stadium as a educational opportunity.
''There can be no more important learning opportunity for our students than to watch and see what takes place here. This is about caring, sharing and helping others,'' Watson said.
Girard city schools team, participating for the second year, had the theme ''Kick Out Cancer'' with children kicking soccer balls as they walk along the track. Kristen Gallagher, team co-chair, said 40 members are on the team with the youth coming up with the idea.
Katie McLalin and Taylor McLalin had a team ''Team Taylor'' from Hubbard in honor of Eli Stewart who died of cancer. The team has been participating for the past six years with this year's theme ''Crafting Up a Cure; Hope for a Brighter Future.''.
Taylor McLalin is a sophomore in college studying oncology.