The battle against cancer took on the additional challenge of a strong thunderstorm during the Steele County Relay for Life early Saturday morning in Owatonna.

The relay was canceled shortly before 1AM Saturday morning as a strong thunderstorm swept through the region. The weather created a mess of the luminaries that lined the path. Volunteers remained on the scene assisting with cleanup until about 3AM.

The 28 teams, consisting of 219 participants, have raised more than $104,000 thus far. Donations are accepted through the end of August. Visit for more details.

Friday night's lead-up to the relay included music, games and prizes. The Stix of Fury Blooming Prairie drum line performed. Movies were shown on a big screen when it got dark. There was a cancer survivors' walk. Luminaries were lit to remember and honor those who have battled cancer.

Despite the overnight cancellation of the relay, the Daikin Dash 5K was held Saturday morning as a first-time event. Registration fees from the walk / run go to the Relay for Life fund-raising efforts.

The Stix of Fury Blooming Prairie drum line performed at the Steele County Relay for Life Friday night. Severe weather overnight forced an early end to the relay. John Connor, Townsquare Media