Farmington mayor and top city staff walk 24 hours for cancer

The staff at Farmington city hall have been in the middle of a massive fundraising campaign, as several top city leaders commit to walk 24 hours straight to raise money for cancer.

Farmington Mayor Joshua Hoyt, Police Chief Gary Rutherford, and city council member Holly Bernatz are walking the Boeckman Middle School track from 6 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday as part of the local Relay for Life event.

Hoyt says he started last year by walking 12 hours and setting a personal fundraising goal of $12,000. This year, he’s doubling the time commitment and fundraising goal.

"I know I’m going to get blisters, I know its going to hurt, I’m going to get heat rash… but its nothing compared to what those with cancer go through," said Hoyt.

Hoyt says they’re trying to re-ignite the city’s Relay for Life event, after it fizzled during the pandemic. While most participants won’t be walking for 24 hours straight, Hoyt said he wanted to build excitement around the event by making the grand commitment. Police Chief Gary Rutherford says he couldn’t let the mayor walk alone.

"When somebody comes up with an idea like the mayor did, I’m the guy who says that’s a terrible idea – when do we start?" said Rutherford. "I wasn’t about to let him come out her for 24 hours and walk by himself."

The City of Farmington’s Relay for Life team has already exceeded its $24,000 goal but will continue to accept donations.

The Farmington Relay for Life main event starts Friday at 5 p.m. at Boeckman Middle School with the survivor’s dinner at 5 p.m. followed by an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Luminaries will be released just after sundown, with festivities going until midnight.