Relay teams honored for their work

CELINA-Relay volunteers pulled an all-nighter in the fight against cancer earlier this year where volunteers walked for 12  hours and raised more than $34,000 for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Relay For Life effort and ACS officials recently praised them for their efforts and announced the winners of several awards given that night.

Veteran team The Red Hat Ladies won the award for “Most Money Raised by a Team” raising more than $4,507.53, making them the top team fundraiser for the year, and they also won the “Icing on the Cake Award” by raising the most money during the silent auction that was held Relay night.

Team Celina K-8, led by team captain Donatta Birdwell, won the “Oh So Close Award” raising $4,466.96, after the team raised the second most money.  They also won the “Light Bulb Award” for holding the most unique successful fundraiser–the first annual Cancer Awareness Walk which was a huge success with the community.

The prestigious “Rookie Team of the Year” award went to the Hermitage Springs School Springers.  This award was given to the first year team with the best campsite, decorations, food, banner, spirit stick and most team members to stay all night.  The Springers were led by team captains Nelda Clements and Scarlett Gentry.

First year team, The Clay County Law Enforcement, led by team captain Gwynda Scott, won the “Best Team Spirit Award” by showing the most enthusiasm and overall participation in every aspect of the night.

Veteran team Active Outdoors, led by team captain Janice Devoe, received the coveted “Purple Passion Award,” which is an award given to the veteran team that had the overall best campsite, decorations, food, banner, spirit stick and most members to stay all night.

First year teams that raised a minimum of $1,000 were awarded “On Target Awards,” and they included The Clay County Law Enforcement Team, The Hermitage Springs School Springers, and the The Top of Cedar Hill team, led my team captain Tammy Price.

Two other teams received the “Purple Shoe Lace Award” for keeping at least one team member on the track all night.  They were the Celina First United Methodist Church led by team captain Dee Dee Short and The Clay County Law Enforcement team.

The “Team Player Award” was given to the Clay County Law Enforcement team, United Methodist Church team,  the Active Outdoors team, and the The Hermitage Springs Springers team.  This award was given to teams that participated in the planned team activities and games Relay night.  Everyone enjoyed watching these team members play potato golf, greasy watermelon toss and other fun games.

“All Nighter Awards” were also given to teams staying the entire 12 hours.  Active Outdoors, Celina United Methodist Church, Circle of Friends, Clay County Red Hat Ladies, Clay County Law Enforcement, Hermitage Springs School Springer and First Baptist Church teams received this award.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication in the preparation and execution of Relay and the Clay County community really united to make this event a success,” Anna Locke, volunteer co-chair for the Relay For Life of Clay County said. “The funds raised by this community will help the American Cancer Society create a world with more birthdays.”

“Citizens  in our community alone will face a cancer diagnosis this year,” event co-chair Betsy Holtam said “and, it’s critical that we come together during Relay to help the American Cancer Society achieve its mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.”

The 2011 Relay For Life of Clay County was made possible by corporate sponsors The Cancer Center at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Barky Beaver, G.F. Hardwoods, Honest Abe Log Homes, Mitchell Creek Marina, Swan Ridge, and the Dale Hollow Horizon newspaper.

Survivor shirt sponsors were Dr. Joyce E. Scott, and Mike’s Auto Sales, LLC.  Survivor dinner sponsors were Bank of Celina, Pam Westrick, and Steve and Lana Chitwood.  Other sponsors were Citizen-Statesman newspaper, Joey’s Flowers and Gifts, Head Equipment, Scott’s Bestway, and Valley View Motel.

Relay For Life is a community-based, volunteer-driven fight against cancer. Individuals and teams gather at a track or park to campout and walk overnight in confidence that their effort will lead to a cure. All walkers share the common goal of keeping at least one team member on the track throughout the event.

Teams organize and complete fundraisers to raise money for the cause and fundraising may continue at the team’s campout during the event. The funds raised support the American Cancer Society’s goal of helping people stay well and get well, finding cures and fighting back.

Since its beginning in 1985, Relay For Life has developed from one man running around a track for 24 hours to a full-fledged international event taking place in more than 5,000 communities and 20 countries across the globe with nearly 4 million walkers in the United States alone. Relay For Life is a community owned, volunteer driven fight against cancer and the world’s largest grassroots fundraising movement.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, they fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.

They also save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, they turn what they know about cancer into what they do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year.

To learn more about ACS or to get help, call them anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit