Relay for Life tops $156K

Published 10:20 pm Monday, May 10, 2010

Optimistic anticipation gave way to a few anxious moments as Pam Little, co-chair of the 2009-2010 Pike County Relay for Life board, stepped to the microphone Friday night to announce the total contributions to the Relay fundraising campaign.

Almost as if overcome by the generosity of the people of Pike County, Little took a deep breath, “One hundred, fifty-six thousand, three hundred and eighty-four dollars and eighty cents,” she said. “Thank you, Pike County.”

A cheer broke the quietness of the late night as members of the Relay Board, team chairs and Relay supporters celebrated with handshakes and hugs.

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“In such a difficult economic time, Pike County came through,” Little said. “It’s just incredible what our county does year after year. And, this year, when times are so uncertain, it just shows the heart of Pike County.”

Little said more money is expected over the next week or two.

“We added $600 on Saturday and several of the sponsors have yet to turn in their contributions so we won’t have an exactly total until all of the money is in,” Little said. “The final total could be around $170,000.”

The top fundraising teams were recognized with trophies and plaques as part of the closing ceremony of the annual Relay for Life event.

Southeast Alabama Rural Health Associates (SARHA) in Troy was the top fundraising team with $30,330.82

“As far as we know, that is the largest single team donation that has been made to the Pike County Relay for Life,” Little said.

“I know that SARHA worked extremely hard the entire year. They had the pageant, which was big event, but they also had several small fundraisers and it all added up.”

SARHA was the only Pike County Relay team to reach and surpass the $15,000 mark.

First United Methodist Church of Troy had the distinction of raising $10,000 or more. FUMC’s team total of $13,650 placed it at the pinnacle of per capita giving.

Joe Bradley was the top individual fundraiser with $9,000.

Two awards were presented for teams that exemplified the spirit of Relay. Brundidge United Methodist Church received the Avis Synco Spirit of Relay Award for the enthusiasm and innovation the team displayed throughout the campaign. That spirit continued through Relay Friday night and the team also received the Participation Award.

Thirty-five teams from across the county participated in the yearlong fundraising campaign.

“We had several new teams and several new sponsors,” Little said. “So, with our seasoned teams and our new teams working together, we raised a lot of money and raised awareness about the disease and had a lot of fun doing it.”

Little expressed appreciation, on behalf of co-chair Rhonda Turberville, to all of those who worked so long and hard to make the 2009-2010 Pike County Relay for Life fundraising campaign a success.

“The board, the teams, the sponsors and all of those who gave so generously made this a great year for Relay here in Pike County,” she said.

“We want to thank the city of Troy for doing such a fantastic job. Whatever we needed, they got for us. They were johnny on the spot and we thank the city for its support of Relay for Life.

“Relay for Life is making a difference in so many lives and we are proud to be a part of the American Cancer Society’s nationwide fight against cancer.”

Little said she lost her dad, her mother-in-law and several close relatives to cancer.

“This campaign is dear to my heart, as it is to so many others,” she said.