Annual Relay Has 412 Participants, 34 Teams

Bringing in $34,573.27 as of yesterday, the Benbrook Relay for Life of the American Cancer Society held at Dutch Branch Park April 29 and 30th raised funds and featured such activities as a luminaria ceremony, contests, and raffles.

The corporate top team was St. Matthews, which raised $7,171.00 and top individual, Gary Christensen brought in $2,815.00.

The Relay for Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease, according to press materials.

People attend the relay to remember loved ones such as Amy Grabel who passed away in October at her home in Jamaica Plain, Mass. after a three-year battle with brain cancer at the age of 59. (Source: LC Magazine). Born April 16, 1951, Grabel grew up on Long Island, New York and when friends and family complained about the state of the world, she would often ask them, “What are you going to do about it?”

“In the early 1990s, Amy left her well-paying job in high tech to begin the career that was her calling ‘” teaching in adult education,” states a friend. “Amy loved her small, lovely home, her gardens, her cats and dogs, her family and friends, and her partner Sandy Bailey.”

March 20 last year Susan Cavin, a pioneer activist, sociologist, teacher, coach, spouse, and mother, passed away also from cancer at the age of 62. An award-winning teacher, she was a professor at Green Mountain College in Vermont and was acting chair of the women’s studies department at Rutgers.

“Susan was always an avid athlete and she was a star basketball player in high school,” states an article in LC Magazine. “In her last weeks of life Susan began a new project to address the outcast condition of most people in the U.S. who are dying with cancer.”

She is survived by her spouse Laura, her son, and other family members.

Judy Lynne Canion, teacher extraordinaire, was another one lost to cancer last year at 59. Born on Jan. 21, 1951, she grew up in the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix, AZ and went by the nickname “Olivia Free-Woman.”

“For more than 30 years she was a special education teacher in elementary and middle schools,” states a story in LC Magazine about her. “In her few hours off, Olivia was a political activist fighting for the rights of women and other minorities.”

To improve her Spanish, she spent six weeks in Guatamala, according to research.

A scholarship has been set up in her name at Creighton School and donations for it can be sent to the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union.

Midge Costanza, former aide to President Jimmy Carter, died in San Diego, CA March 23 last year after a long battle with cancer at the age of 77.

She was born Nov. 28, 1932 in LeRoy, NY and grew up in Rochester, NY.

“Midge was also a strong advocate for women’s rights, supporting the Equal Rights Amendment and working to protect women’s reproductive rights,” states LC.

For more information on the American Cancer Society, go to or call 800-277-2345.