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Grandview’s Rich Leenhouts Stadium starting Saturday, May 18th at noon and running until Sunday, May 19, at noon

Relay for Life 2013

Celebrate Remember

Fight Back



A Special Supplement to the Daily Sun News and Sun News Shopper may 14, 2013

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2 - Daily Sun News

Relay for Life

May 14, 2013

Lower Valley Relay for Life beckons one and all by Laura Gjovaag

GRANDVIEW – The most important things to remember about Relay for Life are that it’s a family event and it’s open to all, even people who aren’t walking. This year’s event will be held at Grandview’s Rich Leenhouts Stadium starting on Saturday, May 18, at noon and running until Sunday, May 19, at noon. In between, there will always be people walking on the track of the stadium to remember those lost to cancer. Chairman Curtis Campbell said there are 33 teams registered this year with 371 registered walkers, up significantly from last year. The goal this year is to raise $75,000. Campbell said that since this event started in Grandview in 1996, the area has raised $1.25 million for cancer research. “We’ve been doing our part,” he said. “That money can go a long way.” While the full schedule isn’t set yet, Campbell said the opening ceremony will start promptly at noon. “People can arrive a little early to get a seat in the stands if they want,” he said. The first lap will be walked by cancer survivors. This year caregivers have also been invited to walk the first lap behind those who see “One and all” next page

The Relay for Life starts with the survivors lap. All of those walking the first lap fought or are fighting cancer in their own lives. The 2012 event had 54 survivors.

Daily Sun News file photo

Relay for Life Supporters Index Ace Hardware - Sunnyside______________________________11 Albrecht Windows & Doors, Llc___________________________ 5 Benton Rural Electric Association_________________________ 1 Bi-Rite Lumber Co._______________________________________ 8 Bos Refrigeration_ _______________________________________ 8 Dave Martin Family Auto Sales_ _________________________10 Farmers Insurance - Ron Sidwell_ _________________________ 2 Hi-Way Fruit_ ____________________________________________ 8 Les Schwab Tires_________________________________________ 9 Lower Valley Credit Union________________________________ 6 Lower Valley Machine Shop, Inc.________________________10 Lower Valley Memorial Gardens__________________________ 2 PMH Medical Center_ ___________________________________ 6 Puterbaugh Construction________________________________ 7 R.H. Smith Distributing Co., Inc._ __________________________ 3 State Farm Insurance - Ben Sartin_________________________ 5 Sunnyside Chiropractic Centre___________________________ 9 Sunnyside Community Hospital__________________________12 Sunnyside Glass_ _______________________________________10 Sunnyside Physical & Sports Therapy______________________ 5 Sunnyside Physical Therapy Services______________________ 3 Sunnyside Tire Factory_ __________________________________ 3 Valley Auto Parts________________________________________ 4 Yakima Valley Chiropractic______________________________ 4 Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic_ ______________________ 7

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May 14, 2013

Relay for Life

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o One and all continued from page 2

they have helped to support. Prosser Memorial Hospital is providing a lunch for the survivors and caregivers immediately after the first lap. By that time, other registered walkers will populate the track. Members of the public are welcome to join them for a lap, or simply visit the various team camps. Most of the fun of the event is provided by the teams. Different groups will be fundraising throughout the event, including the ever-popular Holy Trinity Church team whose pies tend to sell out quickly. A silent auction will be conducted all day on Saturday. In addition, the main stage will feature several acts Saturday night, including a one-man comedy show by Sunnyside High School’s Gavin O’Leary, a dance show by Martin’s School of Dance and a concert by the Sunnyside High School Glee Club, scheduled for 5 p.m. The Mini Diva Pageant will be held on the main stage at 6 p.m. The luminaria ceremony will be conducted at dusk, starting roughly at 8 p.m. and ending after dark. In addition to the luminarias, floating lanterns will be provided for a donation. “Flaming ball going up into the sky,” said Campbell. “It’s a treat to watch.” Overnight events include a midnight frozen t-shirt contest, a 2 a.m. kickball tournament and a 4 a.m. game of musical chairs. Themes will include a pajama lap, a neon dance party lap, a Disney lap and a “Decades” lap.

Daily Sun News file photo

During the Relay for Life event, the track is active with walkers and the occasional runner. At noon on Sunday the event will close with a final lap and a ceremony honoring the teams. The team that shows the best spirit of the Relay for Life will be awarded the Dee

Parsons Award. “Relay for Life resonates with people because of the prevalence of cancer,” said Campbell. “One out of three women and one

out of two men will get it during their lifetimes. It’s a global epidemic.” ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email


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Relay for Life

Greased Lightning is bringing the entertainment to Relay for Life by Laura Gjovaag

In its first year, team Greased Lightning certainly promises to be one of the most entertaining teams at the Lower Valley Relay for Life. The team, led by Kayla Rodriguez, has held a concert for a fundraiser. Half the team belongs to Sunnyside High School’s glee club. And one member, Gavin O’Leary, will be performing on the main stage at Rich Leenhouts Stadium in Grandview Saturday afternoon. “Basically, I’ve been a part of Relay for Life for years,” said Rodriguez. She sang the national anthem to open the event in 2012 and helped with the event line-up this year. “My mom dragged me to it every year as part of her team,” she said. “I decided that this year I would have my own team.” Her team has eight members and a modest goal of raising $1,000. Rodriguez said they still have a ways to go to reach it and hope to make up the difference during the event. “We’ll be doing face-painting and selling Icees,” she said. “And we’ll have a fun run lap with the Icee mascot.” The Icee Bear lap is planned for 4 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to participating in the relay, the SHS glee club will also be performing on the main stage. In addition to O’Leary’s performance, the club will also do a concert later in the afternoon before the Mini Diva’s Pageant, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. “We encourage everyone to come out and have fun,” Rodriguez said. ‑ Laura Gjovaag can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email

Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

Gavin O’Leary, member of Team Greased Lightning, will be performing a comedy routine at Relay for Life on Saturday afternoon.

May 14, 2013

2013 Relay for Life teams & Captains ­– Information Accurate at Presstime –

30 Minute Divas Linda Mehrer Abuelita (Grandma) Brenda Sanchez Cancer Squishers Patrick Jaquish CK Walkabouts Raymond Norgord Devri’s Defenters Emma Schmahl Elimination C Brooke Rodriguez Grandview T.O.P Club Erika Nunez Grease Lighting Kayla Rodriguez Holy Trinity Episcopalian Church Dorothy Aiken Horsing Around for a Cure Christine Bryan Kool Koalas Becky Knott Lower Valley Credit Union Anita Bentley McClure McWalkers Robin Smith McClure McWalkers 2 Stephanie Stanton Mission Impossible Lorri Gilmur-Dillman Prosser Hospital Employee Association Melissa Farris Rebels with a Cause Coleen Goulet

Relay Committee Curtis Campbell SHS Grizzly Nation Kelly Story Smiles for Miles Amy Halfmoon Sunnyside Community Hospital John Gallagher Sunnyside Family Engagement Team Andrea Gatica Sunnyside Rock Stars Geordan Skyles Sunnyside School District Cancer Crushers Curtis Campbell SV Falcons for a Cure! Sherri Graff Team ACS Wendee Bodnar Team Benton REA Troy Berglund Team Davis Barbara Davis Team Hope Nancy Ochoa Team Nico Santa Myers Team Pioneer Billie Parke Tickled Pink Amy Castro Walmart - 2241 Mary Lou Ruelas Wutzkes Waddlers Janita Wutzke

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Proud Supporter of

Relay for Life Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

Laura Gjovaag/Daily Sun News

Kayla Rodriguez, co-president of the Sunnyside High School glee club and the leader of Team Greased Lightning, sings “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” a song about a family dealing with cancer, during the Glee Concert for Change the club staged to raise money for Relay for Life.

Team Greased Lightning member Matthew Gongora will be on the track during Relay for Life. He also helped raise money for his team by participating in the Glee Concert for Change the Sunnyside High School glee club hosted in late April.

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May 14, 2013

Relay for Life

Daily Sun News - 5

Business community helps SHS staff make a difference by John Fannin

There is goal setting and there is goal smashing. The SHS Grizzly Nation team just did the latter. A Relay for Life team made up of about a dozen SHS staff members, SHS Grizzly Nation set a fundraising goal of $1,500 in doing its part to aid cancer research. “We’ll end up with at least $2,000,” smiles Kelly Story, ASB secretary and the team’s captain. “We’ve had a real good turnout, the staff is so supportive,” Story smiles. What really boosted SHS Grizzly Nation was an evening auction fundraiser that generated more than $800 in just that one night. Story says the success story was made possible in large part due to the Sunnyside business community. “It was amazing, we’d call businesses asking for gift certificates for our auction and they came through,” she says. In all, six Sunnyside-area businesses stepped up to the plate to help Grizzly Nation roar. Story says having the gift certificates up for bid in the auction was a big boost to the more than $800 collected for cancer research in one night. “I just want to say how grateful we are for their support,” Story said of the local businesses. It’s the first time Story has captained a Relay for Life team. Like so many others involved in the event, cancer is personal as she has lost both friends and family members to the disease. Story says for a long time she considered getting involved in Relay for Life and finally decided the 2013 Lower Valley Relay for Life in Grandview was the time and place to jump in. “I thought about it for many years and this year I thought, why wait any longer,” Story says. “I decided this would be the year.” - John Fannin can be reached at or at 837-4500.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

With generous support from the local business community, Kelly Story and the SHS Grizzly Nation team will head to the Lower Valley Relay for Life with far more than the $1,500 it initially hoped to raise for cancer research.

Daily Sun News file photo

Not all team members are adults. Hunter Greene carries a drink while walking laps with his parents last year.

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Relay for Life

May 14, 2013

Sierra Vista Falcons raffling for a cure by John Fannin

A first-time team entry in the Lower Valley Relay for Life the weekend of May 18, the Sierra Vista Falcons for a Cure! have set a goal of raising $1,000 to aid cancer research. A total of 14 staff members at Sierra Vista Middle School in Sunnyside make up the Falcon team which just formed at the end of February. The Falcons are soaring with a slow and steady approach rather than a big splash or two with fundraisers. Organizers Lisa Daniel and Sherri Graff say their focus has been holding basket raffles every week. They’ve also added a quilt raffle and are considering other fundraiser ideas such as selling hotdogs in the build-up to the big event. So far, they’ve raised $600 for cancer research. Their biggest individual fundraiser to date was a potato feed that generated $200. Daniel, a para-pro at Sierra Vista, has experienced cancer in her family as both her father and a grandfather were afflicted with the disease. Graff is Sierra Vista’s librarian, and she has had several family members suffer from cancer, including the loss of a grandfather and sister to the disease. “I’m glad we did this,” says Graff, who also participated on Relay for Life teams when she worked at Outlook Elementary School. “It touches everybody,” Daniel adds. Both team leaders praised the support and assistance from staff at the school. The most recent basket they raffled, for example, was a patio party basket assembled by the “seventh grade hall,” staff who work with seventh graders. “It’s a way to show that you care,” Daniel says of joining

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Sierra Vista Middle School staff members Lisa Daniel (L) and Sherri Graff are spearheading the school’s first-ever Relay for Life team. the Relay for Life effort. Graff agrees, “It just means a lot to be able to get out and make a visible difference.” The women also note that although this is the first year for the Falcons for a Cure! to join the relay, it won’t be the last. “I’m sure we’ll do it again next year,” Daniel smiles. “We’ll just get started earlier next year.” - John Fannin can be reached at or 837-4500.

John Fannin/Daily Sun News

Weekly raffles, including this picnic party gift basket, have been a big help for Sierra Falcons for a Cure! in raising funds for the Relay for Life. Another raffle item for the fundraiser is a quilt.

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May 14, 2013

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Daily Sun News file photo

Survivors Jan and Marilyn Smith (L-R) hold hands as they finish the survivors lap at the most recent Lower Yakima Valley Relay for Life.


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Relay for Life

May 14, 2013

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

Team Pioneer is proud to be the 2012 winner of the Dee Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award. Last year the team raised nearly $6,000 for the annual Relay for Life event. Ready to walk again this year are team members (L-R) Sarah Hart, Rebecca Pezzullo, team co-captains Cathy Danies and Billie Parke, Louise Mochel and Pam Stephens. The 24-hour walk for the American Cancer Society will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, in Grandview.

Free jean day biggest fundraiser for Team Pioneer by Julia Hart

Free jeans days, holiday bake sales and Friday luncheons, not to mention the ever popular “12 days of Christmas Salads” are among the many fundraising ideas that helped Team Pioneer raise more than $5,900 in 2012 for the Lower Valley Relay for Life celebration. These efforts also helped the Pioneer Elementary School Relay for Life Team earn the 2012 Dee Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award, said team co-captain Billie Parke. “We are very honored to have received the Dee Parsons award, because we know what it stands for. “We all know someone who has been touched by cancer,” she said. “We are just doing our bit to continue the fight against it,” she explained. Parke explained that the Dee Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award has been awarded to individuals or teams who best exemplify the spirit and commitment of the late Dee Parsons. Parsons was one of the organizers of the first Relay for Life event in the Lower Yakima Valley. The award, which has been presented annually since 2001, reminds teams and individuals of her courageous battle with

cancer, and it continues to promote community involvement in raising money for cancer research. But the relay also celebrates cancer survivors while remembering loved ones like Parsons who lost her own battle to cancer. Parke said the more than 70 staff members at Pioneer Elementary School all do their part to help the team meet its annual goal. “We usually just say, ‘let’s raise $1,000,’ and when we reach that goal, we up it another thousand dollars,” she explained. In order to raise the funds, staff members will pay a small fee to be allowed to wear denim jeans on Fridays. Everyone participates in that particular fundraiser, she added. Some of the staff will use their culinary skills to create baked items, which are then sold to co-workers on special holidays. She explained that other staff members use their artistic talents to create keepsakes. For example, teacher Joe Veloz annually offers one of his special carvings for sale. “Everyone wants to have a Joe Veloz original,” she said. Currently, Team Pioneer is closing in on its $5,000 goal for the 2013 Relay, said Parke. “We’ll know for sure by May 18,” she said. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email

Daily Sun News file photo

Not all team members have to walk the entire distance. Some teams provide rest areas for their members during the event.

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May 14, 2013

Relay for Life

Daily Sun News - 9

Doing their bit for the cause - one pie at a time by Julia Hart

They won’t be walking the track at Grandview’s Leenhouts Stadium during the annual 24-hour Relay for Life, but they will, without a doubt, raise a considerable pile of money for the American Cancer Society. You could say the small, but mighty team has cornered the market on the sale of homemade pies for the May 18-19 event. Team Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Sunnyside, made up of members of the congregation, has been busy getting fruit pies ready to sell for the benefit of the American Cancer Society. The team also sells delicious fudge and luminaries at their booth at the Grandview High School track, to help reach their goal of $600. “This year we also added bags of kettle corn to our sales list,” Aiken added. This year’s team captain, Dorothy Aiken, said the team has also arranged for nice auction items for the silent auction to be held at the weekend event. “We’ve arranged for the winner of our prize to enjoy four rounds of golf at Black Rock Creek Golf Course, with the use of two golf carts,” Aiken said. But the team’s major efforts go into the sale of their 10-inch pies, which sell for $12 each. Aiken said the pies are well worth the cost. After all, the pies are made by the same group who serve up pies at the annual soup and pie luncheons held each Lenten season at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Aiken said she became involved with the Relay for Life event many years ago, when asked by her daughter to help out. Her

daughter, Mary Fishback, who serves on the national board for the Relay for Life, became involved because of a friend’s losing battle with cancer. Aiken said longtime Sunnyside residents John and Sally Saras are among her fellow pie salespeople. Caroline Gardner aids with the organizing of the pie bakers and helps again by shrink-wrapping the pies for sale. Gardner then arranges the transport for the 30 or more pies to Grandview’s Leenhouts Stadium. “We get a lot of help from other members of the church, as well. We couldn’t put up the canopy without the help of Jim Ide, Dave Roberts and Paul Ramon,” Aiken added. Even the canopy has a story, Aiken explained. The team’s canopy was donated by the late Sunnyside business woman Nancy Pedee, who also lost her fight with cancer. Everyone has been affected in some way by cancer, Aiken observed. ‑ Julia Hart can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email

Relay for Life Team Holy Trinity Episcopal Church captain Dorothy Aiken (L) and her cohort Caroline Gardner are looking forward to this year’s Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Gardner said 30 or more pies will be ready for walkers when the Leenhouts Stadium gates open on May 18 for the 24-hour event. The team hopes to raise $600 from their pie, fudge and luminaries sales.

The Holy Trinity Church’s team is known for the pies they sell at Relay for Life each year. Arrive early, they always sell out.

Julia Hart/Daily Sun News

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Relay for Life

May 14, 2013

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Pat Jaquish and Mike Luke will be among the members of the Cancer Squishers serving breakfast at this year’s Lower Valley Relay for Life. Members of the team who were unavailable for the photograph include Tony Tarr, Glen Todd, Guy and Jeanie Borden, Ron Schenck, T.J. and Karen Carraway, and Grace and Logan Kendall.

Cancer Squishers dishing up breakfast in fight against cancer by Jennie McGhan

There’s nothing like a hearty breakfast to get the day going, especially when you are busy trying to fight cancer via the 24-hour Relay for Life. This year, omelets and hash browns will be on the menu, as will coffee and juice. The Cancer Squishers will be serving up breakfast for those participating in the Lower Valley Relay for Life and anyone wishing to support the cause. Breakfast will be served from 6 to 8 a.m. on Sunday, according to team captain Pat Jaquish. He said the breakfast is the team’s only fundraiser for the Relay for Life. “We are hoping to raise $1,000,” Jaquish said, noting there isn’t a set price for the meal, but donations will be accepted.

Cancer Squishers is a team dedicated to the relay. Several members have been impacted by cancer, having spouses and friends who have fought the disease. Members of the team consist of co-workers, family and friends of those working for Desert Valley Powersports in Prosser. Jaquish said the team last year sponsored a chip shot competition at the relay. The team raised $100 via the event. “We tried to organize a hot dog eating contest,” he said, noting there weren’t any bites (willing participants). Jaquish said the team organized a motocross competition prior to the 2011 Relay for Life. “We try to do our fundraising at the event, though,” he noted. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email

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Daily Sun News file photo

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May 14, 2013

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Daily Sun News - 11

‘Team Nico’ marches on, exceeding fundraising goal by Jennie McGhan

Team members participating in the annual Lower Valley Relay for Life have been hard at work collecting donations to benefit the American Cancer Society. One first-year team, Team Nico, is excited because of the support of family, friends and the community gave during its fundraising efforts. The team about a month ago was uncertain as to whether or not it would be able to meet its $5,000 fundraising goal, according to Santa Myers. A donation jar Sunnyside’s Jack in the Box allowed the team to put in the popular eatery was stolen, leaving members of the team frustrated, angry and dismayed. “It’s not about us…it’s about all those people who benefit from Relay for Life,” said Myers. The support provided to the team after the loss was overwhelming, she said, noting the team was able to exceed its goal. The team hosted a dance last month that was highly successful. More than $1,000 was donated to the team as a result of

the event. Myers’ family has been deeply impacted by cancer. The team is named in honor of her brother, Nicholas Melendrez, who lost a battle with cancer last November. Her sister, Charra Garza, survived breast cancer in 1997; sister Pee Wee Cortez survived kidney cancer the same year; sister Abelia Ramirez is fighting bone cancer that was diagnosed last year, stemming from a breast cancer diagnosis in 2005; sister Angela Melendrez survived bone cancer diagnosed last year; and sister Aurora Escobar is currently in the hospital battling colon cancer. They also have a cousin, Yolanda Flores, who lost her battle with stomach cancer this past February. It’s the survivors and their family that have taken up the fight against cancer, participating for the first time as a team in the annual Relay for Life. “We are excited we met and exceeded our goal as a first-year team,” said Myers. She said the family did not know if it would be able to raise the ini-

tial goal of $4,000. However, they set their sights high and surprised themselves. The team began its fundraising efforts just three months ago and isn’t going to stop just because it has met the goal. Myers said Team Nico is working toward the goal of selling tacos and lemonade at the Relay for Life. “We’re not certain if that’s possible. “One thing that is for sure is that my friend Ana Garza will be selling her candy apples,” she said, noting Garza is known for making a product called “Mom’s Candy Apples.” The profits made will be donated to Team Nico. Myers said the apples will be sold for approximately $4 each. Angela Flores, Myers’ niece, said, “This is not just for my mom and my aunts…it’s for anyone who has to fight cancer.” Cruz Amaro said merchants have been good to the team, allowing them to leave donation jars at the local businesses. In addition to placing donation

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Team Nico has had a donation jar like the one in this photo at Sunnyside’s Eagles Aerie lodge and Just Ask Rentals. The funds collected will benefit Relay for Life. Team members include (front L-R) Cruz Amaro, Santa Myers and Angela Melendrez; (back L-R) Pee Wee Cortez and Angela Flores. jars throughout town, the team has been hard at work making and selling scarves, hosting raffles, baking treats, making tamales and barbecue sauces, as well as blankets. Also helping with the fundraising efforts have been members of the extended family. A family member from Mt. Vernon, DJ Steve (Uvalle), donated his services to provide music for last month’s dance. Team Nico has maintained a positive outlook. “We’ve all been enthusiastic,” said Myers.

She said the family has enjoyed its adventure, getting started for the 2013 Relay for Life and is looking forward to making the relay an annual tradition. “We are brainstorming ideas for themes and decorations for next year,” Myers said. “Because cancer has affected so many in our family we hope our efforts will help with the fight…it would be nice to have a cure.” ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@

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Relay for Life

May 14, 2013


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Relay For Life 2013