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Butler Relay for Life starts with a whirl

July 20, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

Walkers joined forces Saturday to support people with cancer during the Butler Relay for Life at the Butler Farm Show grounds in Connoquenessing Township. The event also raises money for various American Cancer Society programs.

Wind whips tents at event where 'There's no place like hope'

CONNOQUENESSING TWP — A Saturday morning wind storm sent the Butler Relay for Life crew running across a field in pursuit of their tents.

The team of volunteers couldn't stop laughing about it all day. After all, the group picked “There's no place like hope,” — a riff off a 'Wizard of Oz' quote — as this year's theme. Organizers felt they had summoned their own tornado.

“We're definitely not in Kansas anymore,” laughed Butler resident Megan Ratica, the event coordinator.

Early morning storminess gave way to a hot day as Butler's 35th relay filled part of the Butler Farm Show fairgrounds. Poor weather dampened crowd expectations, but the participants stayed strong for a good day of fighting cancer.

Take it from Aimee Fritz of Butler, whose family joined the relay for the first time this year. Fritz and friends attended to support her as she battles ovarian cancer.

“It's nice just to hang out for a day and stop thinking about everything,” Fritz said. “It's great bonding.”

The event's regular crowd all come for the same feeling. The goal, Ratica explained, is to make a community for people like Fritz who may need back-up in the battle at hand.

“This is showing our community that we can come together to fight something that discriminates against nobody,” Ratica said.

Read more in Sunday's Butler Eagle