Good weather greets crowds at Festival of Hope

Great weather is producing good crowds and participation Saturday at the 11th annual Festival of Hope at the Mitchell Event Center. The event is designed to raise money to assist cancer patients with their non-medical needs.

The free event organized by volunteers started at 7 a.m. with a 5k run and walk and a Kid's Fun Run that attracted several hundred runners. There was also a full-fledged breakfast provided by the Knights of Columbus. There is entertainment throughout the day, educational booths, wonderful food, a penny carnival for the kids and silent and live auctions, the live auction beginning at 2 p.m.

The day is capped off at 3 p.m. with recognition of past and present cancer survivors on the Wall of Hope, the symbolic release of butterflies

Dr. Vince Bjorling, who co-founded the event along with his wife Vicki, says in 2012 more than $130,000 was distributed to more than 150 cancer patients and their families, but he believes the organization will donate at least $170,000 this year.

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