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Overcoming fear: Relay for Life of South Washington County raises $130,000

Honorary Survivor Jennifer Hauk leads the survivor's lap. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 9
Jennifer Hauk of Woodbury was this year's Honorary Survivor. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 9
Sandy Poeschel high fives a spectator during the survivor's lap. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 9
Sen. Susan Kent lit the disco ball to begin Relay for Life festivities. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 9
Jordan Weiss gives hugs to survivor Bridget Olson and her mother Pam Olson, also a survivor. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 9
Thirteen-year survivor Donna Smith-Stafford gives out a high five during the survivor's lap. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 9
Luminaria marked the track inside the HealthEast sports center for the first indoor south Washington County Relay for Life. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 9
Dozens of survivors were honored at Relay for Life June 9. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia8 / 9
Jennifer Hauk of Woodbury gave a speech as this year's Honorary Survivor. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 9

Passion, courage and determination marked the dozens of survivors honored at Relay for Life of South Washington County June 9.

Survivors' shirts read "we are the courageous, we are the passionate, we are the determined, we are hope" — adjectives that became themes for the 2017 celebration.

Organizers spoke about survivors and caretakers in this way during the opening ceremony.

"Loved ones have turned purple since I've been doing this, and that's not going to stop me," Organizer Dave Olson said, referring to the color of shirts worn by cancer survivors.

Jennifer Hauk also spoke about her journey from diagnosis to remission in terms of hope as the Honorary Survivor of this year's Relay for Life celebration.

"The cancer journey is filled with fear that can be overcome, and that's why we all came together tonight," she said.

Over $130,000 of the $170,000 goal had been raised by June 12. Over 650 participants and 64 teams registered for the relay, which was held for the first time indoors at HealthEast Sports Center in Woodbury.

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