Relay For Life Committee members and volunteers had tears of joy as Marsha Resch, event chair, read the total amount of donations raised by all the Relay teams during Tamaqua's 18th annual Relay For Life, which took place over the weekend.

A total of $91,647 was raised during the relay, beating the $90,000 goal. Caylan Chanwik, income development specialist of the local Carbon-Tamaqua chapter of the American Cancer Society, said this was the first time they had reached their goal since she started at the chapter years ago. Resch expressed her appreciation to all the sponsors, team members and supporters that made it a great event.

The Hometown Farmer's Market was filled with 32 teams, with more than 400 participants, Friday and Saturday as they walked or ran laps to raise donations and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer. Relay teams and supporters took part in many activities as they camped out during the 24-hour event. Many teams have been fundraising as long as 11-months in an effort to achieve this year's relay goal.

An outdoor movie screen, donated by Andrew J. Miller, president of Flying High Bungee Trampoline, provided constant video entertainment to relayers throughout the event.

Survivors were recognized during a Survivor Ceremony, Victory Lap and a Survivors Breakfast.

One of the highlights of the night was the Luminaria Ceremony, which is held during every Relay to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle against cancer. Luminary bags, numbering 703, and inscribed with messages of hope and remembrance, lined the track and were left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their time and monetary contributions.

The funds raised through Relay For Life enable the ACS to continue its investment in the fight against cancer through educational programs, research and services to patients, as well as many other programs. Resch and Chanwik expressed their appreciation for the generosity of local sponsors like the Hometown Farmer's Market, Boyer's Food Markets, Silberline Manufacturing Company, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Jim Thorpe National Bank, Trans Western Polymers, Valley Athletic Supply, Hometown Rita's, Wal-Mart, Marie's Lunch, Best Buds Specialty Florists, In Home Referral, La Mia Torta, Barletta Materials and Construction, Ron Zeigler, DJs Chuck Bridgen and Chris Mlynek and many others.

Donations are still being accepted for this year's Relay campaign. For more information about next year's Relay, call (570) 645-2162 or (888) 227-5445, ext. 3112. To register a team, survivor, or to donate money online, visit www.relayforlife.org/patamaquaarea. For cancer information, contact your American Cancer Society 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org.