Relay for Life Campaign Begins, Looking for Teams

Barnes County Relay for Life organizers are gearing up for this year's event, looking for teams and asking the public to donate on Giving Hearts Day. Money donated by the community to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life on Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour online give-a-thon hosted by Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation, will benefit the Barnes County Relay. Diane Sommerfeld, who does publicity for this year's Relay, said donations are taken online. On Thursday, Feb.13, donors should log on to, and then click on "donate what I can," and then click on American Cancer Society Relay for Life and follow the steps from there to help the organization.

Matching funds for all dollars raised throughout the state will be distributed on a percentage basis. The 15th annual Barnes County Relay for Life this year is partnering with Rally in the Valley to hold the event Friday, June 13 on the Barnes County Courthouse lawn. Sommerfeld said organizers are still working out the details and exact times.

The primary way Relay for Life raises money is through fundraisers organized by teams. Sommerfeld said the Barnes County Relay for Life wants many teams to sign up this year. She said anyone can form a team and encourages high school and college classes, families, groups of friends, businesses, organizations, neighborhoods and churches to sign up. Teams raise funds for the American Cancer Society up until the event and the evening of the Relay.

Those interested in starting a team should contact Amy Milbrandt at (701) 840-0848 or

Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Funds raised by teams and businesses before and during the event go to the American Cancer Society for research and awareness through fundraising events.

In 2013, Barnes County RFL donated $34,500 to the American Cancer Society. Of that, 72 percent went to services or research; 22 percent went to fundraising events; and 6 percent went to management and general expenses.