The last thing you want for an outdoor event is bad weather.
When it came time to start the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Paris at 6 p.m. last Friday, it was raining. That forced the event to move indoors and played havoc with the schedule.
"We didn’t do the parade we’d planned because of the rain," said event chair Brittany Rogers. "The rain kind of messed up a lot of things. I’d call it a success, in spite of the rain. I was pleased with the way a lot of things went."
As of Monday morning, Rogers said the event raised close to $33,000, down slightly from the $37,000 raised last year. The goal was $38,000, Rogers said. Since money was still being counted as of Monday, the total raised could change, Rogers said.
With rain falling steadily last Friday, Rogers and a group of volunteers began to set up for the relay in the exhibition building at the Logan County Fairgrounds, located next to the Paris-Subiaco Municipal Airport. The relay was originally to have been staged outdoors at Veterans Park in Paris. It marked the second time in the event’s history that the relay had to be moved indoors.
There were 13 teams participating in the event this year, which is an increase over the nine teams taking part last year. Teams began raising money months before the event. During the relay, team members walk around a track, or as the case was Friday when the event was indoors, around luminaries set up to remember cancer victims and honor cancer survivors.
The top money raising team this year was Paris Elementary, which raised $6,420. In second place was Bankers for Life, a team composed of First National Bank at Paris employees. The team raised $4,200. Third was a team from River Valley Animal Foods, which raised $4,100.
Rogers said those totals can change because money was still being counted Monday morning.
In addition to forcing things inside and forcing cancellation of the parade, rain hurt attendance this year, Rogers said.
"The rain did hurt but I thought the attendance was really good, considering the weather."