The annual River Falls Pierce County Relay for Life was hosted at the River Falls High School April 5, bringing together people from all walks of life to support survivors and fighters of cancer.

The local Relay for Life has touched local people's lives such as River Falls EMS worker Deanne Claypool. Claypool, also known as "Mama D," was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year.

She and her "ducklings"-other River Falls EMS workers-participated in this year's relay.

One of her "ducklings," Nicole Foster, has been a part of other Relay for Life events in Winona and has given $1 cot rides for River Falls. Foster said this year was different because her good friend Claypool was affected.

"It was a really good experience to be there for her and see that she had a bunch of support. Overall it was a good evening. Definitely a good turn-out," Foster said in a recent phone interview.

Laura Born, Community Development Manager for the American Cancer Society, Inc. North Region said the River Falls Pierce County relay earned the No. 2 spot per capita for highest fundraiser in the 40,000-49,999 population bucket in 2016 and was number one in 2015 for the same bucket. The last two years, 2017 and 2018, the local relay did not receive a position in the top five per capita in Wisconsin.

In the past, the River Falls relay was the No. 1 per capita fundraiser in 2007, 2006 and 2005 in the Midwest division, according to an American Cancer Society newsletter.