2006-05-25 / Front Page

Community raises $34,359 at annual ACS Relay for Life

One of the highlights of the Lincoln County ACS Relay for Life was the "Miss Relay 2006" Pageant. This year's winner was Miss Melissa McClendon (second from left) from St. Luke Baptist Church. Pictured with Miss Relay are: (l-r) Paulina Rentz, Ernestine Doss, and Jimmy Faye Butler. One of the highlights of the Lincoln County ACS Relay for Life was the "Miss Relay 2006" Pageant. This year's winner was Miss Melissa McClendon (second from left) from St. Luke Baptist Church. Pictured with Miss Relay are: (l-r) Paulina Rentz, Ernestine Doss, and Jimmy Faye Butler. Local residents raised $34,359 to help with the fight against cancer at the Fifth Annual Lincoln County American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life held Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, at Buddy Bufford Field.

The theme for the event was "Tackling Cancer...Changing Lives."

The relay began at 7 p.m. Friday and ended sometime during the wee hours of the morning on Saturday. All through the night, members of seven teams walked around the field to show support for the ACS and its mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.

During the course of the evening, awards were presented to the teams that raised the most money for the relay. The "Courthouse Crew," led by Kenny Adair, captured first-place honors with over $10,000. Finishing in second place with $5,500 were the Ebenezer Baptist Church "Cancer Commandos," led by Debbie Tutt. Third place was awarded to the First Baptist Fisherman who raised over $1,800. Natalie Brown served as the team captain for the church.

These donations will be used to fund research, education, advocacy, and service programs sponsored by the ACS.

In addition to the awards given to those teams raising the most money for the relay, the teams having the best-decorated campsites were also recognized. Once again, the "Courthouse Crew" took top honors, with the First Baptist Fishermen garnering second place.

Other teams participating in the relay were:

Mulberry C.M.E. Church, led by Travis Reid.

The St. Luke Baptist Church Saints, led by Marveen Zellars.

The Rehoboth Baptist Church Wranglers from Appling, led by Sandra Green.

Pleasant Grove C.M.E. Church, led by Doris Blackwell.

As in year's past, one of the most meaningful events at the relay was the Luminary Ceremony, which gave participants the opportunity to celebrate the lives of those who have survived cancer and pay tribute to those brave individuals who have been lost to the disease. Prior to switching off the stadium lights, candles, placed around

the track in weighted bags, were lit either in honor or in memory of someone who has struggled with cancer. The names of the individuals were prominently displayed on the bags.

There was also the Survivors' Victory Lap which took place at the conclusion of the opening ceremonies. In a poignant act, symbolizing what the relay is all about, 78 cancer survivors walked around the track, cheered on by family and friends.

Following the Survivors' Victory Lap, the Caregivers' Walk was held to recognize those individuals who offer their time, love, and support to friends and family members who are fighting cancer.

Moreover, for the first time ever, a Ministers' Lap was held to honor those members of the clergy who provide spiritual support to those with cancer. "I Believe," a song performed by Brooks & Dunn, was played during the walk.

On a lighter note, another highlight of the evening was the crowning of "Miss Relay 2006." This year, the "honor" went to Miss Melissa McClendon a/k/a Stacey McClendon, a member of the team from St. Luke Baptist Church.

The first runner-up was Miss Judy Gibson a/k/a Jody Gibson of the Courthouse Crew. Should Miss McClendon be unable to fulfill her duties, Miss Gibson will become the new Miss Relay 2006.

In addition to the beauty pageant, the ACS Relay for Life featured face painting; a dunking booth; drawings for a variety of fabulous prizes; a "jail and bail," sponsored by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office; tons of food, including a low country boil, pizza, barbecue sandwiches, etc.; and a portrait contest sponsored by Koehler Galleries.

The winners of the portrait contest were:

(1) "The 'Dollar Vote' Category" - T.J. Bradley, first place, and Cash Gibson, second Place.

(2) "The Age Category" - Mitaveon Harris, three months to one year old; T.J. Bradley, two to three years old; Chandler Tudor, four to five years old; and Brendt Harris, seven to eight years old.

There was also a lot of toe-tapping musical entertainment provided by Fancy Footworks, Renee Harper Hall, Renee Bolton, the Tax Office Blues Band, the Faith Tabernacle Praise Team, the First Baptist Church Mime Team, the Parks Grove Holiness Church Praise Team, the First Assembly of God Choir, the Cox Family Trio, Jennifer Poss Ashworth, the LCHS Band, Barbara Boddie, and Brenda Starbuck.

During breaks in the action, participants and visitors were encouraged to sign the "Wall of Hope Banner" which will be forwarded to Washington, D.C. to show the county's support of the ACS and its goals. The banner, sponsored by McWhorter Logging, Inc. and Rocking "R" International, Inc., will be unveiled when the ACS's "Celebration on the Hill" takes place in September.

Serving as chairman of the 2006 relay was Mildred Brown; Judy Jordan was the co-chairman.

In her comments, Brown expressed her appreciation to all of the volunteers and the people of the county as a whole for making the event such a success. "This just shows that a small community working together can accomplish big things."

She went on to thank the various planning committee members for their hard work and dedication. "They made certain that everything ran smoothly."

In addition to Brown and Jordan, other members of the Lincoln County ACS Relay for Life Planning Committee were Dena Gibson and Brenda DannerMcGahee, sponsorship; Virginia Williams, survivorship; Jeremy Latimer, spirit; Carrie Parker, luminaries; Stella Crosby, the Miss Relay Pageant; Linda Willgus, entertainment; Floydean Goldman and Sabrina Freeman, accounting; Dr. Michelle Mason-Woodard, mission/ advocacy; and Marveen Zellars, team recruitment.

Brown concluded her remarks by pointing out that the Relay for Life would not have been possible without the corporate sponsors who contributed a total of $12,250 to help wage the war against cancer.

The corporate sponsors were:

Platinum Sponsors - Farmers State Bank and Garrison Hearst & G-Style Development.

Gold Sponsors - Georgia Power, Clay Turner Realty, LLC, Wills Memorial Hospital, Cliatt Crossing, J & T Service Center, Inc., Heartfelt Productions, Newberry Missionary Baptist Church, and New Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Advocacy Sponsors - McWhorter Logging, Inc. and Rocking "R" International, Inc.

Silver Sponsors - Mattison & Associates, Inc., Southern Classic Realty, Lincolnton Marine, Inc., Lincolnton Feed & Seed, Broad River Realty, Southern Cleaning Products, Wynn Masonry, Radio Shack, Jeff and Sheri Easter, the Norris Ware Youth Grief Foundation, the Rayle Electric Membership Corporation, Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, Bell's Food Market, Wilkes Telephone & Electric Company, the Lincoln Iron Horse Motorcycle Club, Rowland & Ware Auto Parts, the Joe Boy Elam Trucking Company, DeFoor Realty, the Milky Way Freeze Bar, Lewis Bus Lines, Henderson Logging Company, the children of Helen Jenkins Elam, the Lincoln County Chapter of the NAACP, and the Twilight Improvement Association, Inc.

Patron of the Relay Sponsors - A & R Painting Company, Inc., Artistic Hair Salon, Augusta Telephone, Austin's Remodeling & Repairs, Aycock Truck Parts, Inc., Beggs Funeral Home, Classic Printing, Don Pennington Paint & Body, Electrical Design Consultants, Inc., Gibson Tire, H & H Industrial Maintenance, Lee Builders, Inc., Lincolnton Auto Sales, LLC, Newberry Missionary Baptist Church, Norman's Upholstery, and the Little Tax Shop.

Other groups deserving special recognition were the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the Lincolnton Police Department, Lincoln County EMS, the Lincoln County Fire/Rescue Unit, LCES, and LCHS.

For more information about the American Cancer Society and the services it offers, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the organization's website at (www.cancer.org)

Return to top