Despite lightning, thunder, rain and high humidity, Relay For Life supporters were on-hand to participate in this year's local Relay For Life, June 19.

Several new teams participated this year, with one special team being "Jane's Angels," which was in honor of Newcomerstown resident Jane Bliss, who succumbed to cancer earlier this year. The team consisted of family members and friends throughout the community. Bliss was a former pre-school teacher.

Newcomerstown Mayor Steve Guy said he was not only welcoming the community to the opening of Relay this year but was also participating as he and his wife had lost a close friend to cancer this year (referring to Bliss); they wanted to be actively participating in honor of Bliss.

The 2009 Relay royal court consisted of Melvin Hren (king), Edna Nay (queen), Billy Anderson (mini prince), Ryan Freeland (mini prince) and Hope Glazer (mini princess). Freeland and Glazer also held the same title for last year's event.

The event's first hour of the opening ceremony was completed outdoors with the remainder held inside the Newcomerstown High School gymnasium. A kiddie tractor pull, as well as other events took place indoors.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of Relay For Life, which several teams decorated their tents accordingly for the anniversary. Baker's IGA had a cake decorated in purple and silver which was made by Mindy Worthington, Joanne Boyd, and decorated by Carol Sue Mathews.

The total for this year's event brought in a staggering $76,157.17 -- despite the current economical concerns. King's Church team won the platinum award again this year for the most money collected.

The Relay committee is planning to have a "wrap up" meeting on July 7 and is encouraging the community to offer suggestions on improvements to any committee member or ideas on how to make the Relay 2010 even better.

The Relay 2009 committee offers their gratitude to everyone who helped in any way, via donations, physical labor, or simply being there and supporting the event.