Highland Voices have sung at many different events and will be a part of the Relay For Life in Spring Grove. The members vary sometimes by who is available to perform. Shown are Sandy Hanson, Sybil Floyd, Jan Renslo, Laurel Rusert, Judy St Mary, Jacky Mechtel, Nora Bengston, Ann Emery and Carolyn Tornstrom. Members not shown are Pat McManimon-Moe, Janice Dokken, Sandy Lord, Delores Mechtel and Beth Steplinski.   <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Highland Voices have sung at many different events and will be a part of the Relay For Life in Spring Grove. The members vary sometimes by who is available to perform. Shown are Sandy Hanson, Sybil Floyd, Jan Renslo, Laurel Rusert, Judy St Mary, Jacky Mechtel, Nora Bengston, Ann Emery and Carolyn Tornstrom. Members not shown are Pat McManimon-Moe, Janice Dokken, Sandy Lord, Delores Mechtel and Beth Steplinski.   

"Fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer." That is what people participating in the Relay For Life are doing.

Through their efforts in collecting donations, "the Relay For Life movement raises more than $400 million each year. The American Cancer Society puts these donations to work, investing in groundbreaking research in every type of cancer and providing free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers," states the website, www.relayforlife.org. More than 5,200 communities and 20 countries host Relay For Life events.

Houston County's Relay For Life event this year is in Spring Grove at the Fest Building on Friday, Aug. 2. A survivors' reception will begin in the evening at 5 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. The program will include music and a message from Houston County - = =Relay for Life Honorary Chairperson Scott Bingham. Survivors will make the first lap around the track followed by caregivers and then all participate in the Relay for Life event. The public is invited to all of the festivities.

Throughout the evening, walkers and the public will be entertained by high school pianist Liz Johnson, West Union, Iowa-based Kindred Minds, and Caledonia-based Highland Voices. There will also be karaoke hosted by Ford and Marge Brevig throughout the night.

Kindred Minds is a four-piece group playing an eclectic blend of folk, traditional, Celtic, gospel and original music all in a laid-back "music on the porch" acoustic style. Their instruments include hammer dulcimer, guitars and upright bass.

Highland Voices is a group of women who share a common passion for singing and performing. The group was formed in November 2009, under the direction of Jacolyn Mechtel. Highland Voices take their name from the beautiful "highlands" in this area running along the Mississippi Valley. It also reflects the Scottish heritage of Caledonia where most of the singers live. Caledonia is the classical Latin term for Scotland.

Along with the musical entertainment there will also be games such as Kubb and Bingo. These games are for everyone to participate in, not just the walkers. Free massages will be offered to survivors from 5 to 6 p.m. and for others from 6 to 8 p.m. with a donation. A food stand will open at 5:30 p.m., selling brats, pork burgers, and more. A silent auction will take bids until 10 p.m. Relay teams donate items for the auction to raise money for their team. Everyone is encouraged to bid on the items.

At 9 p.m. the special luminaria lighting ceremony will begin. The luminarias light the walking path throughout the night with each luminaria specially marked "in honor of" or "in memory of" of someone with cancer. Luminarias may be purchased from any team member or the evening of the relay. They are $10 each or three for $25. The glow they cast along the path affects each person in a different way as they walk by.

"We invite everyone to come out and enjoy the relay," said Judy Bratland, Houston County Relay For Life co-chair. "Many memories are made at this event; it is a wonderful to see so many people come together to raise money for the American Cancer Society."

The Houston County Relay for Life event will be held at the Spring Grove Fest Building. Campsites will be available north of the building in the grassy field-area. The walking track will be around the Fest Building and other activities will be in the Fest Building. People not on a team who would like to join one or create their own team should contact Joycelyn Rostad (507) 498-5212 or Judy Bratland (507) 498-5147 to find out details.