Forks Relay for Life nets more than $40,000

FORKS — With more donations still to be counted, the 2009 Forks Relay for Life raised more than $40,000 for cancer research Friday and Saturday at the Forks High School track.

Donations dropped off at the event will be counted through the end of August, said Pat Soderlind, city events coordinator.

“The atmosphere was good,” said Soderlind, whose “Just a Bunch of Us” team was one of 15 at the 24-hour relay.

“It was a little bit slow compared to other years — we have ups and downs. It was a little bit slow, but we had as many teams as we did last year, minus one.”

Last year’s Forks Relay for Life raised $50,000.

Relay for Life benefits the American Cancer Society’s cancer research.

Soderlind said a light mood accompanied this year’s Twilight theme of “Take a Bite Out of Cancer.”

Some of the teams were named for characters in the four-book series, a popular teen romance and vampire saga based in Forks.

The festivities included a vampire-building team challenge Friday night and a “garlic necklace lap” at 2 a.m. Saturday.

Teams were composed of eight to 15 members.

Money is raised through individual sponsors who donate a certain amount for each quarter-mile lap or through team projects.

Memorials in honor of those fighting cancer lined the track. Candles at each memorial were lit overnight.

The Forks Relay for Life began in 2003. It was organized by cancer survivor Paul Headley, who formed a team of co-workers at Clallam Bay Corrections Center for the 2002 Port Angeles Relay for Life.

The West End’s Relay for Life was the final relay of 2009 on the North Olympic Peninsula.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at

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