The Dyersville Area Relay for Life brought in a record 264-thousand dollars this year. The annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society was held Friday night at the Beckman High School parking lot, with hundreds turning out to support the cause. The Dyersville Relay’s ability to raise that much money despite its small population has earned state recognition. Just last week, the Dyersville Area Relay for Life was named the number one Relay in the state of Iowa.
Dyersville Relay Chairperson Karla Thompson says the purple semi raffle was a big part of their success. Eldon Jaeger and his crew built a purple semi called the “Longhaul Survivor” in memory of Jaeger’s daughter who passed away from cancer. The semi traveled the country for about a year, with volunteers selling raffle tickets – and during the Midwest Pride In Your Ride Truck and Tractor Show in Earlville this past May, 21-year old Brittany Dunigan, a semi-driver from Michigan, was drawn the winner. The purple semi raffle sold over 14-thousand tickets, raising over 142-thousand dollars. The Midwest Pride In Your Ride Truck and Tractor Show itself raised another 61-thousand dollars. Jaeger says he’s glad they could help make a difference.
The sale of hundreds of luminaries helped bring in the rest of the funds, along with nearly thirty teams. The top fundraising team was Team Plaza Nickol, bringing in over 33-thousand dollars. Donna Vaske of Worthington was named the top fundraising individual, raising 34-hundred dollars.
The Dyersville Area Relay for Life will meet soon to discuss any possible changes to next year’s event, including the option to eliminate the overnight portion of the event. That’s a change that the Delaware County Relay for Life made to their event this year.
(Photos by KMCH News Director Janelle Tucker)