Almost 1,000 people gathered at the Larry Ward Stadium Friday night for the 10th Annual Orange County Relay for Life.

Eighty-five teams, 10 more than last year, spent the night walking the track, line dancing, participating in games including washer board and cake walk. Some of the boys even participated in a “Miss Relay for Life” contest.

Unfortunately the mosquitoes were out in full force. They were not enough to deter this determined crowd.

At 11 p.m., they had already turned in $127,000  and were in the process of counting more at the time, according to Jackie Burleson of the American Cancer Society.

She said this year was a double surprise. Last year, they were shocked when Orange County almost doubled the previous year. This year, they didn’t know what to expect with the hurricane situation. “We thought, okay, we’ll just do it and get through this year and next year should pick back up,” said Burleson. Blown away by this year’s results, she estimates they may earn around $10,000 more than last years $168,000.

Burleson said there were several teams from last year that did not return this year, but she suspects those are storm related.

The “Lovely Ladies” from First United Methodist Church were first-timers. Samantha Ziller said they just decided to do what they could to help. The group raised $1,665 for their first event.

“Sims Sassy Sisters” had so many participants, they had to break into two teams. Their efforts brought in $6,300.

Little Cypress Junior High “Spirit Cubs” topped that with $8,000.

Some teams continue to earn money through the night by offering things for sale or activities for a fee.

It was one huge pajama party that came together so “One fine day, we will find a cure.”

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.