Heights Relay For Life realizes gains in donations

Photos by Sue Suchyta

Photos by Sue Suchyta

Over 500 people were registered to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Dearborn Relay for Life May 1 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. The event went on despite the threat of rain, running for 24 hours straight from 10 a.m. May 1 to 10 a.m. May 2. The event coincided with Michigan’s becoming the 38th state to ban smoking in the workplace, including bars and restaurants.

Before Zumba took to the stage May 1, actors from the Players Guild of Dearborn entertained participants with songs from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Maura Donovan (left) portrays Millie and Kenyada Davis is Jimmy.

Mohammad Jouni (left foreground) joins others in the May 1 Relay for Life Zumba exercise activity. The 7-year-old is a student at Henry Ford Elementary in Dearborn.

Young and old alike enjoy the fun dance exercise moves led by the Zumba staff at the May 1 Dearborn Relay for Life.

Moe Hassan and his 20-month-old son, Ghazi Hassan, watch the Zumba for life exercise activity May 1 at the Dearborn Relay for Life.

HEIGHTS – Relay For Life of Dearborn Heights raised $36,597 for the American Cancer Society last weekend at Chircop Field in the city’s south end.

More than a dozen teams were buoyed by supporters, survivors and area residents for the sixth annual Relay event. The teams were comprised of families, faith-based groups, businesses, clubs and other organizations. The event offered the community a chance to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease.

“It is unbelievable what the Dearborn Heights community has come together to accomplish,” Kelly Brown, community representative for the American Cancer Society, told the participants. “I feel so much pride for every single one of you and I hope you know the appreciation myself and ACS feels. I hope you all are equally proud.”

The three teams that raised the most money are O.W. Best Middle School at over $8,100; the City of Dearborn Heights team, which brought in over $6,000; and the Dearborn Heights Kiwanis Club, which raised more than $4,300. The event’s overall goal was $37,925 goal – a figure organizers are certain will be exceeded as fundraising continues through Aug. 31, and almost $3,000 more than was raised last year.

Sponsors for the event were: the Rotary Club of Dearborn Heights, Saturn Food Center, City Treasurer John J. Riley, City Clerk Judy Dudzinski, the Dearborn Heights Kiwanis Club, Kay and Dan McKenzie, N.J. Diamond Inc. and Keefer’s Blue Line Saloon.

“It’s fulfilling knowing that we came together during Relay to help the American Cancer Society achieve its mission of saving lives in Dearborn Heights by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back,” Brown said.

To support the Dearborn Heights Relay For Life, call (248) 663-3414 or go to www.relayforlife.org/dearbornheightsmi.