Fillmore County Relay for Life chairmen Lavonne Mensink, left, and Sue Sikkink, right, stand in front of the bulletin board designed for the 2014 Relay for Life. Shown between them is Rich Kramer, a community relations representative for the American Cancer Society. The three are looking forward to another successful Relay in Harmony on July 11. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Fillmore County Relay for Life chairmen Lavonne Mensink, left, and Sue Sikkink, right, stand in front of the bulletin board designed for the 2014 Relay for Life. Shown between them is Rich Kramer, a community relations representative for the American Cancer Society. The three are looking forward to another successful Relay in Harmony on July 11. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The community of Harmony is already gearing up for hosting the 2014 Fillmore County Relay for Life event on Friday, July 11, and the excitement is soon to spread throughout the county as participants and sponsors rally together to raise money to fight cancer and to support patients with the disease.

So far, 14 teams have registered with 48 participants and $2,822 has already been raised for the 2014 event.

While this total is already impressive, considering the event is still seven months away, Relay for Life committee chair Sue Sikkink explained that it is also a bit misleading.

"We have money waiting to be recorded, but have to wait until the teams and individuals register on the website," she explained. "All donations must be recorded online and we want to make sure proper credit is given to those doing the fundraising."

The Relay for Life webpage for Fillmore County is www.relayforlife.org/fillmoremn and if one bookmarked that page during last year's event, or previous years, one must type in the address again and create a new bookmark for access this year.

Sikkink also explained that 30 teams participated in last year's Relay and she expects all of them to return for the 2014 event.

So far, with the 48 participants registered, the top fundraisers include Alex Scrabeck with $1,085.50 and Morgan and Coltin Wingert with $451.50 each.

If one would like to donate before the end of the year, for charitable tax credit, one may do so by going to the website as well.

This year's theme for the Relay for Life is "Up, Up and Away . . . with Cancer!" The Relay will be held at the community center, the same location as last year's event and the fundraising goal has been set at $128,000.

Sikkink explained that she and her co-chair, Lavonne Mensink, would also like to learn about all the plans the teams have developed for the 2014 relay.

"Communicating with each other is a key element in making the 2014 Relay the best ever," she said.

Mensink will be updated the website regularly, posting team fundraising events, donations and announcements.

Again, Sikkink urged the team captains and their team members to go to the website and get registered so additional fundraising can be recorded.

As is tradition, the Relay for Life event will begin with a survivor's tea and Sikkink and Mensink stress that all cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers are welcome to attend the tea. If one would like to be included on the invitation list for the tea, contact one of the chairmen to be added.

Sikkink and Mensink once again voiced their gratitude for all of the contributions, for the team captains and their teams for providing time, talents and heart to the Fillmore County Relay for Life.

"We appreciate all your support for always meeting our county goal, so get signed up, start fundraising and have fun helping Fillmore County fight back and help cancer go 'Up, Up and Away!'"

The Fillmore County Relay for Life committee is excited to be hosting the event again in Harmony and hopes that excitement continues to spread throughout the county so the 2014 event is bigger and better than ever.