By CHRIS AGEE
With singular purpose and determination, locals took on cancer over the weekend.
Teams and individuals gathered at the Mineral Wells High School track to take part in the American Cancer Society's largest annual event – Relay for Life.
Participant Beth Howell said unseasonably cool temperatures did not dampen the resolve of those dedicated to fighting the disease.
Howell, an eight-year cancer survivor, took part in the relay with her daughter, Sara Coots, who served as team captain.
"It was cold," she said, "especially at 3 o'clock in the morning," adding survivors and supporters "kept going" throughout the 12-hour event.
Sandy Phillips said one of the most touching moments came when a bagpiper walked two laps around the track while playing "Amazing Grace."
Phillips and her sister were able to raise additional money for the ACS through a raffle for a unique quilt comprised of previous Relay for Life T-shirts. The quilt was assembled and sewn by her cousins, who previously ran Creative Sisters in Mineral Wells, she said.
Phillips said they lost their sister, Connie Taylor, to cancer exactly one year ago and plan to make the quilt raffle a recurring fundraising opportunity.
Together with Connie's Crusaders, Phillips said they were able to exceed their goal.
"We wanted to sell 1,000," said fellow participant Lanelle Davis, explaining the team ultimately sold about 1,200 raffle tickets for the unique quilt.
Howell said she purchased 20 tickets and one of them was selected during the drawing. She received the quilt Monday as Davis shared her intention to offer another quilt through a raffle at next year's event.
The 2013 Relay for Life marked the 100th anniversary of the ACS.
The final tally of participants and money raised during the local event were not available as of Monday afternoon.