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DePauw and Greencastle Combine to Raise Record Relay For Life Total

May 6, 2001

May 6, 2001, Greencastle, Ind. - Putnam County's Relay For Life, a 24-hour event run Saturday and Sunday at DePauw University's Blackstock Stadium, raised a record $73,000 for the American Cancer Society. And according to event co-chairman Rebecca Hedge, a DePauw junior, "the pledges are still coming in."

The total greatly exceeds the organizers' goal of $50,000. Last year's event raised $41,900.

Given the 2000 Census count of 36,019 people in Putnam County, the total raised amounts to more than $2 for every man, woman and child in the county. Put another way, Indianapolis and Marion County would have to raise about $1.5 million to have a fundraiser with the same impact. More than 830 walkers from 61 teams took part in the event -- 41 from DePauw, the other 20 from the Greencastle community, up from six last year.

"The 24 hours this weekend really bridged the gap between the DePauw and Putnam County communities," Hedge said. "It didn't matter what sweatshirts people were wearing, if they had Greek letters, or even if they were walking for the same team. People came together, learned about their common bonds, and jointly raised an incredible amount of money for an important cause."

Hedge said three members of the Women of the Moose Lodge team walked the entire 24 hours. The top fundraising team was Brackney's Western Store/The Brackney Family, with $6,000 in pledges. DePauw's Food Service Team was second, with First National Bank of Cloverdale third.

Special tribute was paid to Polly Marchese, a 22-year-old DePauw senior from Terre Haute who died April 29 of leukemia. On Saturday evening, members of Kappa Kappa Gamma walked a lap in memory of their sorority sister and released balloons in her honor. Luminarias were lit spelling Polly's name and the word "hope," and the DePauw Gospel Choir performed.

"Polly's parents came, which meant quite a bit to all of us," Hedge commented. "We celebrated her life, and you could feel her spirit in the stadium."

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