Throwback Thursday: Carroll-South’s 2007 Relay for Life Topped $150,000 for Cancer Research

This year’s throwback Thursday looks back at the July 18, 2007 edition of the Carroll County News-Leader, which covered the Carroll-South Relay for Life event. More than $150,000 was raised during the event. This year’s Carroll County Relay for Life event will be held Friday, July 7 at the Carroll County Civic Center from 4-10 p.m.

Carroll-South Relay for Life Tops $150,000 for Cancer Research

By Shirley Nanney and Ron Park

Honorary co-chair, Alex Reiter, (foreground) and twin brother, Ben, light the torch at the opening ceremony of Carroll County South Unit’s 2007 American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

It wasn’t the biggest Relay For Life event to ever hit Veterans Park, but it was pretty close.

Altogether, the Carroll County South Unit’s 17 Relay for Life teams raised over $152,000 for the American Cancer Society’s ongoing crusade to find a cure for cancer– a total that was proudly announced at the conclusion of this past weekend’s Relay for Life event at Veterans Park in Huntingdon.

This was the third largest amount raised since the Carroll-South Unit was formed back in 2000 and just $37,000 shy of the event’s biggest fundraising year in 2005.

“I thought this year’s Relay was outstanding,” said event general chairperson, Vicki Myers. “You couldn’t have asked for better weather, and I think all the teams really outdid themselves with their campsites.”

The Huntingdon Middle School Relay team won this year’s Grand Champion Award for the best overall campsite with the “Pirates of the Cure-A-Being” theme. HMS also received the top fundraising award with over $23,000 brought in for the American Cancer Society. For a complete list of Relay winners, see page 11A of this newspaper.

“I thought it was one of the best events we’ve had so far,” said Dr. Tim Rucker, who served as even production co-chair with Dr. Lee Carter. “The weather was great, the attitudes were wonderful, and the whole community was really involved. Most importantly, we raised a lot of money for the American Cancer Society and had a lot of fun in the process.

During opening ceremonies Friday evening, honorary chairpersons, Shelby Perkins of Bruceton and Alex Reiter of Huntingdon, were introduced. Mrs. Perkins told how she has fought breast cancer and still continues to fight bone marrow cancer today.

Deja Williams, 7, at left, and friend Lakia Moore, 7, both of Huntingdon, enjoy ice-cold slushes at Relay.

“New medicines that help cure cancer come from money raised through Relay,” she said.

“God is our healer, but he gives us doctors and nurses along the way,” she said.

Alex Reiter’s mom, Dr. Amanda Reiter, told the story of her young son’s battle with chronic myelogenous leukemia. He takes a chemo pill every day.

“The money we raise tonight is helping raise money for research that’s helping with Alex’s cure,” she said.

Stephanie Ivy, 23, was among the 125 survivors attending this year’s event.

She works as a registered dental assistant at the Huntingdon Dental Clinic and is a Century 21 realtor.

The pretty young woman was diagnosed with astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor, in December of last year and immediately had surgery at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

The cancer is treatable, but incurable, she says.

Although Relay is new to her, she is thankful for the organization that raises money for research that will hopefully result in the cure for the disease someday.

Rob Simpson was one of three trumpeters who played “Amazing Grace” in Veterans Park as hundreds walked a silent lap around the track in honor of those who have lost their lives to cancer.

“I think it’s a very good thing to get together with other people with cancer and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate life,” she said. “As long as you keep up the fight, I believe you’ll survive.”

June Crider, 69, of Huntingdon has been in remission since undergoing stem cell replacement in January of 2006. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a kind of bone marrow cancer, in June 2005 after breaking both arms and a leg.

“Relay,” she said, “is a wonderful thing. “Research is what saved my life.”

The Miller couple, Jimmie, 72, and Jean, 68, of Huntingdon were happy to be counted among the survivors Friday night.

She is a 12-year survivor and he is a one-and-a-half month survivor. She had to have a kidney transplant due to cancer, and he is to soon start treatment for prostate cancer.

Those who have not survived the ordeal of cancer were remembered later Friday evening during the Luminary Ceremony.

After prayer by Bro. Steve Whitworth and a couple of inspiration songs by Julie Finley, the names of local loved ones that have fallen to cancer were read aloud by Angie Bunn, Brooke Hodges, Scott Carter, and Tom Yarbro as the attending crowds held aloft lit candles.

After all the names had been read, everyone made a silent lap around the track while Henry and Rob Simpson and Kaitlynn Crossno played “Amazing Grace” on the trumpet.

Following several late night hours of non-stop games and entertainment, all those who went the distance returned to the stage for the Sunrise Ceremony– which featured scripture and prayer by Bro. Andrew Stokes, inspirational music by Bethany Ellis, and a concluding message by cancer survivor Wilma Darnall.

Click here to subscribe to the Carroll County News-Leader

Leave a Comment