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Relay for Life surpasses fundraising goal

The 2015 Pike County Relay for Life campaign reached and surpassed its goal of $100,000, and there are still dollars to be counted.

The culminating event for the 2015 fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society was held Friday night at the Troy Sportsplex. There were celebrations all around when the announcement was made that the goal had been reached.

Joy Brigham, community manager, Mid-South Division, ACS, captained the 2015 Pike County Relay campaign and expressed appreciation for the generosity of the Pike County community.

As of Monday, the countywide campaign had $102,000 in its coffer with more money to be collected.

Brigham said Pike County has been setting and reaching its goals for the American Cancer Society for 21 years and the community can share in the victories that have been won over such a formidable disease.

“According to the latest percentages, the death rate from cancer has decreased 22 percent since 1991,” Brigham said. “The death rate from cancer is decreasing. That’s reason to celebrate and to keep in the fight.”

Twenty-two teams and 38 sponsors spearheaded the fundraising efforts for the 2015 campaign, and they were recognized at the closing ceremony Relay ceremony Friday night.

The top fundraising team was Park Memorial United Methodist Church in Troy with a total of $7,210. The top per capita fundraising team was KW Plastics of Troy with $6,981.45.

Bijal Patel, CGI team, was the top individual fundraiser with $253.

The Best Tent Decoration was awarded to Troy Cable with its “Give Cancer the Boot” all-western decorations.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Department’s T-shirt design took top honors in this year’s contest.

Richland Baptist Church in Brundidge won the “Spirit of Relay Award,” which is given for participation throughout the campaign.

“The Spirit of Relay is awarded on a point system,” Brigham said. “Teams receive points for a variety of things including attendance at meetings and its fundraising efforts.”

The winner of the two Southwest Airlines tickets was Jaleesa Elsta. Those who visited tents to learn more about cancer prevention, treatments and research received ballots to enter in the drawing for the tickets.

Troy Bank and Trust annually sponsors the luminaries that line the Relay for Life track in memory or in honor of loved ones who fought, survived or are fighting cancer.

“This year, 700 luminaries lined the track,” Brigham said. “The Luminary Walk is the highlight of Relay.”

Brigham said the 2015 Relay for Life event was well attended, drawing more participants than last year. And, the entertainment was outstanding.

“Relay was very successful throughout’” she said. “The Survivors Dinner was well attended and all of the teams were actively involved. The generosity of the community in support of the campaign was outstanding. We thank all Pike County for its support of Relay and the American Cancer Society. What we do is making a difference in the lives of so many.”

It is now time to begin planning for the 2016 Pike County Relay for Life fundraising campaign. Anyone who would like to volunteer with the campaign in any capacity is encouraged to call Brigham at 334-790-0372.