EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – It’s likely another record breaking year for the Eugene-Springfield Relay For Life, with thousands of people taking part and more than one-hundred costumed characters helping the cause.
Relay for Life organizers say more than 8,000 people entered their gates for 2012’s 24 hours festival which ended around 6 p.m on Saturday, July 28th, 2012.
While the numbers are still being tallied up, more than 800 cancer survivors took part in the Eugene-Springfield “Relay” this year, which is around double that of 2011’s count.
More than 8,000 people also registered at the gate, which is around 2,000 more people than 2011.
Saturday may have helped push participation over the edge as well, with organizers attempting to break one of the most unique world records out there: the most mascots gathered in one place at one time.
Relay organizers managed to get 161 mascots at the event around 12-noon on Saturday.
The mascots came from all over, including outlying cities like Corvallis, Newport, Cottage Grove and more, all representing various schools, universities, businesses and more.
All of the work was the brain child of Derek Zenzer, a Relay organizer. Zenzer has been working on getting these mascots together since February 2012.
While look at the sea of mascots beings a lot of laughs and smiles, Derek hopes it also raises awareness and parallels the effort Relay’s participants make in raising money to help fight cancer through the American Cancer Society.
“That was my goal was to create more awareness about cancer research, increase participation, we're the number eight Relay for Life in the entire world,” Zenzer told NewsSource 16 in an interview on Saturday.
“Increase participation and obviously raise money by it too, my goal was 25-thousand to raise, we're at about.. Close to 10, somewhere around there,” said Zenzer.
“It's just been a lot of fun, the contacts, the networks, everybody coming together for such a great cause,” said Zenzer.
While organizers didn’t quite break the world record, Zenzer says they’ll try again next year.
As for the money raised for ACS? The totals aren’t in for Eugene-Springfield quite yet, but so far, participants have raised more than $601,000. The goal was originally set for $638,000. Participants have until August 31st, 2012 to continue to raise money.