News-Herald Staff Writer

SCIO – The Relay for Life saw a strong turnout and sent a message of hope and solidarity when it was held at Scio’s Dr. James Z. Scott Field June 11-12. The theme this year was “Holiday Extravaganza!” and teams outdid themselves with colorful decorations.

“It is our honor and pleasure to share in this emotional evening with all of you. We all come for our own personal reasons, but once here, we are all joined together as one big family, fighting for the same cause. A world with less cancer is a world with more holidays,” said Penny Foster, co-chair.

“Our goal is to help everybody we can, one family at a time,” said Foster, adding that participation in the event saw a sharp increase with about 70 cancer survivors in attendance and 16 teams. More than 55 people camped out in the field after the luminaria display. “We had over 350 luminary bags,” she said. “The crowd was really good. We raised over $37,000.”

Lorrie and Emily Jackson provided games from midnight to 6 a.m. Other events included a Fun Run for children.

Three teams raised more than $5,000. They were the New Rumley United Methodist Church, Hoo Ha, and Funky Monkeys. Harrison Westgate Elementary raised more than $2,500. “We just want to thank all the teams for all their support and dedication,” Foster said. “We were real thankful for that. The community really supported us. We believe in Harrison County. We can make a difference if we touch one family, one life at time.”

Ester McCoy and Lamont and Dean Whiteman helped with the luminary bags. Rev. Ruby Foutz  offered the opening prayer. Zack Whiteman carried the torch in memory Janet Boggess, his grandmother. Kenny Skinner and Rene McGil lit hope candles in honor of Kenny’s brother, Todd.

Marlene and Gordon Kress took care of the auction. “We give a special thank you to everyone in Harrison County for their support and dedication,” said Foster.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society at or Foster at 740-945-0201 or 740-945-0234.

Featured top: Herman Niemeyer livens any celebration when he twists a balloon animal for Brice Tanner during the Relay for Life in Scio.

Featured  top left: Christal and Christin Shoemaker, members of New Rumley’s United Methodist Youth Group lend a hand to Twig Coffman and Donna Bishop in setting up luminaries during the Relay for Life.

Featured bottom left: Adina Gamron gives a temporary tattoo to Sara Bethel while Autumn Ash waits her turn during the Relay for Life. NH Photos/ROBERT A. DEFRANK