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Rhodes proudly wears ‘hooligan’ title

Features Editor

Call Danny Rhodes a hooligan and a broad smile with spread across his face. There is nothing he would rather be called, except the biggest hooligan.

"That’s a title that I wear proudly," Rhodes said. "It’s one I worked really hard to get, and I’ll work even harder next year to keep it."

On May 3, Rhodes was named the Biggest Highway Hooligan at

the Alabama Department of Transportation-Seventh Division’s Paving Day activities.

"We call it Paving Day because we are helping pave the way to a cure for cancer with our fund raising activities," said Tracy Snyder, chairperson of the seventh division’s Relay for Life team. "Our goal this year was $3,500 and we have already reached 130 percent of that goal and we still haven’t finished."

Although Paving Day isn’t the culminating fund raising activity it is the ultimate "fun" raising activity.

Employees bring their families to enjoy games, entertainment and hotdogs and hamburgers and the fellowship that comes with being together.

The highlight of Paving Day is the award ceremony for the Biggest Highway Hooligan and Rhodes was the back-to-back winner of the title.

Last year, he collected more than $400 to take the title. This year, he brought in a whopping $1,356.09.

"Most of it came from women," Rhodes said with a wink of the eye. "No really, I’m nothing special. I’m just who I am, but I want to do what I can to help in the fight against cancer. It’s a terrible disease and it affects so many people. We all need to get involved in the fight."

Rhodes expressed appreciation to all of those who made donations to the cause, whether it was $100 or a penny.

"I went in a restaurant one morning and a man gave me a penny," he said. "By the time I left, I had $15. It all started with a penny."

Rhodes has collection jars in stores around the county and many friends supported him with donations.

"My fellow workers here and in District 5 were real hooligans, too," he said, laughing.

"They donated and then donated again."

Rhodes brother Carroll chipped in and helped with a campstew supper that was a big fund raiser.

"So many people are a part of this award, but I’ll get to wear that red shirt," Rhodes said. "But, I couldn’t have done it without them. They want to help find a cure for cancer and they were willing to give to that effort and I thank them all."

The Highway Hooligan contest contributed to the overall fund raising efforts of the ALDOT 7th division.

"To date, we have collected $4,776. 33 and we now hope to go over $5,000 and I believe we will because the hotdog and hamburgers sales haven’t been added to the total," Snyder said. "Our fundraising efforts are in support of a fellow employee and friend Kathy Wilks, who is undergoing treatment for cancer. We are doing this for her and everyone who is affected by this disease. We hope this is the year we win the battle with cancer."