Relay For Life exceeds monetary goal

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 8, 2006

Exchange Club Park was the place to go for the 2006 LincolnCounty American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Revelers filtered inand out of the park from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday tosupport the search for a cure.

“I think we had a great turnout. We had more people left thereat 6 this morning than I can ever remember,” said Terry LynnWatkins, chairwoman of this year’s event, Saturday.

The event also generated a greater than expected amount of moneyto fund cancer research, she said.

More than $79,000 was raised in a year that saw the stateseverely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and the pockets of LincolnCounty residents nearly emptied from not only their own recoveryefforts but also numerous fund-raisers to assist those on thedecimated Gulf Coast.

The county’s Relay For Life event last year raised more than$80,000.

Watkins said efforts this year should top that figure becauseseveral of the 23 teams will add their contributions to the potMonday.

“The goal I set for myself, with everything that’s happened inthe last year, was $75,000,” she said. “So, I’m really pleased witheverything as a whole. We’ve already surpassed that mark.”

Award winners at the 2006 event include:

* Best Tent Site: King’s Daughters Medical Center

* Most Laps: Lady Wilson Book Club, nearly 4,000 laps.

* Most Laps, Individual: Carolyn Wilson, Lady Wilson Book Club,more than 600 laps.

* Most Money Raised: One Family United, $22,400.

* Most Money Raised, Individual: Betty Rushing, One FamilyUnited, more than $10,000.

* Best T-Shirt: Sugar and Spice, the Pat Reed Family

* Spirit Award: Ages and Stages

* Best Banner: Ages and Stages

* Best Baton: Deaconess Home Care

* Sunrise Award: United Methodist Churches, including First UMC,Pleasant Grove UMC and Beauregard UMC.

* Best Midnight Snack: Pleasant Grove UMC, banana splitcake.

The 2006 Lincoln County Relay For Life banner will join manyothers nationwide on Sept. 19-20 during a special Relay event onCapitol Hill in Washington D.C.

“Our banner will be placed on the Wall of Hope on the NationalMall. The Wall will be the focal point for the Celebration on theHill,” Watkins said.

The national event is hoped to draw lawmakers’ attention to theneed to continue to research cancer cures, she said. AmericanCancer Society members believe the event is needed because thisyear several federal bills were introduced to cut the society’sresearch funding.

“Hopefully, (legislators) will see how many people are involvedand hope and care about this,” Watkins said.

Susan Martindale of Monticello will carry the banners of Lincolnand Lawrence counties to Washington for the event.