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North country Relay for Life events to raise over $400,000

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North country residents will have helped raise over $400,000 by the time all money is collected from recent Relay for Life events.

Donald J. Boshart, community executive for the American Cancer Society, said while that amount probably won’t surpass funds raised throughout the 2012 events, it is important to ensure last year’s total is at least maintained.

“It just continues to help fund out programs and services we do,” he said. “We’ve been very successful up here.”

Typically, the Ogdensburg event does not get as much traffic as ones held in other local counties.

Mr. Boshart said attendance was lower this year — at about 600 participants — because rain deterred people from coming. The entire event, held June 7 and 8 at the Ogdensburg Free Academy, was inside. That event is expected to close out at $65,000.

Meanwhile, the Massena event, which Mr. Boshart does not oversee, is expected to take in $40,000. That was held June 7 and 8 at the Louisville Arena, Arena Drive, Chase Mills.

Lewis County’s event, held May 31 and June 1 at the Lewis County Fairgrounds, Lowville, raised about $103,000 from nearly 1,000 participants. Mr. Boshart said that total is expected to top out at $110,000, which was the amount raised last year.

The agency’s fiscal year doesn’t end until August so teams often schedule Relay for Life fundraisers throughout the summer to collect as much as possible for the agency’s programs and research efforts.

Although the $238,000 collected thus far from the Jefferson County event is a little higher than last year’s amount at this time, Mr. Boshart said he expects it to even out at 2012’s total of $275,000. Over 1,000 people participated during that event, held June 14 and 15 at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, off of Coffeen Street.

Part of the proceeds raised will support the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodges, which provide patients and caregivers a place to say when they have to travel far for treatment.

Mr. Boshart said people don’t need to wait until they need treatment or a stay at one of the agency’s Hope Lodge sits. They may call the agency at 800-227-2345 as soon as they receive their diagnosis.

“We’re there 365 days a year; we’re there to support you,” he said. “That’s our front door.”

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