Open Letter From Christie Fouts & Mallory Wittstruck

We would like to thank residents of Osborne and Mitchell County for their generosity and support for this year’s Relay For Life event. As chairs of this year’s committee, we would also like to thank all of our committee members for helping make this event as successful as it was. The committee members this year were Christie Fouts, Mallory Wittstruck, Beth Holling, Linda Riley, Bev Wiese, Rebecca Brummer, Jessi Day, Terry Peterson, Marcia Fleming, Jennifer Cooper, and Mary Jane Chapman. Without them the event wouldn’t be what it is.

We had fourteen teams participating in this year’s event and raised almost $38,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight for every birthday, threatened by every cancer, here and throughout the world. The teams were MCHHS, S&S Drug, Tippy Town Trotters, Farmway Credit Union, Guaranty State Bank & Trust Co., Central National Bank, Foutsy’s Number Ones, Farmway Co-op, Inc., Cassiopeia, Becker Autos and Trailers, First National Bank, margaRELAYville, Team Ace, and Osborne team. This outstanding show of support proves that the people of Mitchell and Osborne County stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Cancer Society to achieve its mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures, and fighting back.

The event started off at 4 p.m. on Saturday with carnival games for the children, live music by Mark Nebel, massages for survivors provided by Jean Brummer, Teresa Gasper, Ambria Gruber, and Melissa McKain, and the Fire Department provided delicious food. Then at 6:15 we began the opening ceremony with a motorcycle processional. After that Pastor Cody Fears began the opening prayer, the Boy Scouts did a presentation of flags, and the National Anthem was sung by Angela Waters. When that was finished we began the Survivor Ceremony. We were honored to be joined by more than 40 survivors who walked the opening Survivor’s Lap, officially kicking off this year’s event. These survivors are the reason we continue the fight. Their participation inspires hope in those currently battling cancer.

We appreciated Mark Nebel being with us all day to provide live music and keep the energy level high throughout the event. We enjoyed more entertainment throughout the night including the Wildcards Dance Team from Tipton and the band Scattershot Lane.

Jerica King was the keynote speaker. She is a caregiver to her brave little boy who was diagnosed at a very young age. She did a wonderful job telling everyone about her personal story with this disease and how it impacted her family and their lives. Around 9 pm we had more than 700 luminaria bags lighting the track in honor of those living with cancer and in memory of those who have lost their battle to the disease. We had a beautiful ceremony with hush angels walking the track, Beloit High School Orchestra, Sahsa Tyson, and Mark Nebel providing music accompaniment while all the names of our loved ones who have been diagnosed were read. Then the rest of the night activities kept spirits high and a lot of prizes were won! The night came to a close after everything was picked up and everyone enjoyed themselves to a hotdog/smore cookout. It was a very successful and exciting day! We were so happy to see everyone that was able to come out.

A special thanks to Casey Seifert and the Beloit High School for letting us use the Beloit High School gym for the evening. They were extremely supportive and accommodating and it was greatly appreciated. We also want to thank the many Relay For Life volunteers who worked to make this event a success – celebrating the lives of those who have battled cancer, remembering loved ones lost, and pledging to fight back against the disease. Thanks to Mark Nebel for providing entertainment for the evening and Wade Gerstner for being the emcee throughout the evening as well. Cole Eberle Photography provided us with a fun photo booth and candid shots throughout the night as well.

We also appreciate the generosity of this year’s corporate sponsors. Relay For Life would not be possible without them. Our corporate sponsors were very generous and supportive. They were a big part in helping us raise almost $38,000

“I truly believe that because the money raised throughout the years for Relay For Life has been used to improve cancer treatment my husband is able to stand here today as a four year stage 4 cancer survivor. It is one of the main reasons I am so passionate about this event,” said Christie Fouts.

Thank you all again for making this such a successful event. You may want to get more involved with Relay For Life at some point in your life. If you do our email is [email protected] Please contact us if you would like more information.

Christie Fouts & Mallory Wittstruck