NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — "I hope they don't die overnight!" came the remark from the Northborough 4-H table.
The club had set up a plant sale during the Relay For Life event at Algonquin Regional High School on Friday, as part of a broader effort to raise money to fight cancer. But the evening's chilly weather threatened the fragile plants.
Not so for the rest of the event. Clad in heavy coats and woollen hats, Relay participants looked well prepared to spend the twelve cold hours walking around the track.
"It's cold, but it's going really good," said organizer Katie Hafner, who added that about 400 people were attending.
Relay teams typically spend several months fundraising before walking the Relay itself. During the event, at least one member from each team must be present on the track at all times over the twelve hour period. In the meantime, teams typically set up tents and camp out.
In some ways, the many tents and booths began to resemble a small village. When not walking, team members played games and shared snacks. Some, like Northborough 4-H, brought wares to sell.
At the booth belonging to "The Walking Warriors," books written by team members were on sale. "Our Mom is Getting Better" and "Our Dad is Getting Better," by Alex, Emily and Anna Rose Silver, are written for children whose parents are cancer survivors.
"That's something kids would want to hear," Emily said.
Thanks to sales like these, the fundraising didn't stop. According to Hafner, as of Friday morning the teams had raised $45,000 of their $65,000 goal, and the money continued to pour in as the evening went on.