REDMOND, Ore. -

The first American Cancer Society Relay For Life for Redmond and Sisters took place this weekend at the Redmond Proficiency Academy on the Hugh Hartman Campus and easily topped its fund-raising goal.

There were a total of 21 teams and over 200 participants working to raise awareness and funds to battle cancer and support survivors.

The community, along with friends, family and cancer survivors, already had topped the original fund-raising goal of $25,000 even before Saturday's opening ceremony.

Lauren Olander, a three-time cancer survivor and Central Oregon's Relay For Life event specialist, was thrilled with the turnout.

"This event means everything to me," she said. "Because all of the treatments and the care that I have been through and I have even been able to have access to are because of the work that Relay For Life people do across the nation. I mean, we have 5,500 relays across the country."  

According to relayforlife.org, a total of $32,627.97 was raised from the Redmond-Sisters relay.

Redmond City Councilor Ed Onimus participated in the relay and said Sunday it was a tremendous first time for Redmond.

"The community really turned out in love and compassion," he said. "And bringing hope -- that's the word on the grandstand there, and that's what we do, we bring hope, that one day someone will never have to hear the words, 'You have cancer.'"

The next RelaysForLife in Oregon will be held on Aug. 22 in Beaverton and Aug. 23 in Klamath Falls.

Olander says there are already plans in the making for a different venue perfect for next year's Redmond event.    

For more information or to donate, visit http://relay.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY14GW?fr_id=61933&pg=entry