Teams walked through the night Friday into Saturday at the Merrill Festival Grounds to support the fight against cancer. The 18th annual Merrill Relay for Life raises funds for the American Cancer Society’s mission to fund groundbreaking cancer research, support education and risk reduction efforts, and provide free information and critical services for people with cancer who need them.
More than 150 Merrill area residents joined together to help save more lives from cancer. This year’s theme was “There’s No Place Like Hope,” a take on the Wizard of Oz. The opening ceremony Friday night featured 8-year-old cancer survivor Mady Odegard, this year’s Hero of Hope. The traditional luminaria ceremony was followed by a fireworks show.
Food was available on the grounds, as well as activities including a petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, a scavenger hunt and more. The Merrill Rotary Club served a pancake breakfast Saturday morning.
In addition to the support of the community, Relay For Life of Merrill is also supported by many businesses and organizations. Among the event’s 2016 sponsors are: Ministry Health Care, Church Mutual Insurance, Dave’s County Market, Ho-Chunk Gaming, Merrill Firefighter Charities and Truck Country of Wisconsin.