WATER VALLEY – The 2009 Yalobusha County Relay For Life raised $65,501.03 and was a very successful event even if it didn’t make as quite as much money as last year, according to Glenda Gordon, event chairperson.
“We may not have met this year’s goal, but we are so thankful and truly blessed,” Gordon said.
The annual spring fundraiser for the American Cancer Society culminated last Friday evening at the Crawford Sports Complex. Preparations began early in the day as members of the 13 Relay Teams moved in to set up their campsites.
The survivor’s celebration party got underway at 5 p.m. with 47 survivors on hand for hot dogs and chips as well as cake made by Lela Mae McMinn. The Red Hat Melons hosted the event with Dale and Arlene Wilbourn cooking and Zandra Walker helping out.
Opening ceremonies were held at 6 p.m., with a welcome by Gordon, an opening prayer by Rev. Amos Sims, and the National Anthem sung by Jill Clark. The Davidson Elementary School Student Council raised the American Flag.
At 6:30, cancer survivors made the first lap of the Relay while a list of survivor names was read. Watermelon Queen Austin Mills and Miss Hospitality Steffi River presented each survivor with a Medal of Hope as they began the walk. The second lap was reserved for survivors, their family, and caregivers while all team members made the third lap.
Entertainment began at 7 p.m, with Jill Clark, Emily Carpenter, Jen Curtis, Mary Freeman and the Christian Soldiers, the Bayson Angel Choir, T. K. Townsend, Effie Burt, Robbin Gaston, Shaniqua Wesley, Spring Hill North Baptist Church’s Praise Dancers, Christiana Rogers, and Leandrea Telford.
The Luminaria Ceremony began at 9:15 with a prayer by Travis Clement and the reading of the Luminaria names. “Amazing Grace” was sung by Effie Burt from Oxford. “It was so beautiful, and such a special part of the event for me,” said Gordon. “Everything was quite as the cancer victims and survivors were truly honored.”
At midnight, Gordon handed out awards. Yalobusha General Hospital and Nursing Home received recognition for having raised the most money, $11,106.35, and also received the bank night award.
James Morgan was recognized as the team member raising the most money, $2,269.67. The award for best campsite went to Sylva Rena while the Dynamic Conquerors were recognized for showing the most team spirit.
Overall, $47,000 was brought in by the 13 Relay teams including: Aflac Insurance, Dan Whitehead; BorgWarner I, Peggy Whiteside; BorgWarner II, Callie Woodard; First Christian Church, Carol Brown; Dynamic Conquerors, Ethel Morgan; First United Methodist Church, Renee Person; Mechanics Bank, Julie Tyler; I Love Lucy!, Bea Tidwell; Sylva Rena, Mary Norris; Windsor Foods, Terry McMinn; Yalobusha General Hospital & Nursing Home, Michelle Alvarez; Bayson Chapel Prayer Warriors, Ora Lee Phillips; and Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department, Rochester Buford.
Event sponsors were: Cold Mix, Nettleton; BorgWarner, Inc.; Humana; L. Hart, Inc.; Larson’s Piggly Wiggly; Mechanics Bank; and Water Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Survivors’ sponsors included: Black & Associates, P.A.; BorgWarner; Carothers Construction, Inc.; Mechanics Bank; Odom’s Sunday School Class; Red Hat Melons; Water Valley Chamber of Commerce; Windsor Foods; and Yalobusha General Hospital and Nursing Home.
Donors at the Shining Stars level were D & S Haulers and Water Valley Rotary Club.
A new sponsor category this year was “Light Up the Night?” for $100 per pole. These sponsors were: Bell’s Country Cabins; Catherine Brown; Ruthie Mae Brown; Rubye L. Carr; Mike and Tonya Eubanks; Donald and Brenda Henderson; Glenda and Mackenzie Gordon, Jo Lewis, Melinda, Michael and John Michael Grimmett; Yolanda Hall; Jerry W. Jenkins, Jr.; Linda Maynor, J. C. and Billie Winters, Brandon, Cathey and Cate Wrenn.
Also: Benice F. Minor; Ethel Morgan; James Morgan; Mary A. Person; Mr. and Mrs. Carl Polk; Maxine Ross and family; David K. Scobey; Sydney and Taylor Snider; In Honor of Lalah Smith, Gail Press, Susan Henson, Travis and Jeannie Clement, Monica Lee-Burwell, Michael Glick, Onia Sims; In Memory of Clifton Smith, Steve Moore, Edith Woodard, Natasha Nicole Woodard; Opal & Cedell Melton by George’s Garage; Robert Sprouse by Valley Lumber and Hardware; Steve Moore by the University Powerline Shop and Friends; Churches: Bayson Chapel M.B. Church (2); Bayson Chapel Prayer Ministry; Bethel Baptist church; Everdale M.B. Church; Paris Grove M.B. Church; Persimmon Hill M.B. Church.
Serving on the 2009 Relay For Life Committee were: Jonnie Mayo, Honorary Chairperson; Glenda Gordon, Event Chairperson; Tonya Eubanks, Co-Chairperson; Jo Lewis, Co-Chairperson; Nell Jobe, Accounting Chair; Tonya Eubanks, Accounting Co-Chair; Ora Lee Phillips and Bea Tidwell.
Team Recruitment Chairpersons; Rachel Bell, Team Recruitment, BorgWarner; Pat Holliday and Glenda Gordon, Luminaria Sales; Jessica Harris and Erin Martin, Luminaria Co-Chairpersons; Tonya Eubanks and Glenda Gordon, Sponsorship; Tammy McMinn, Activities and Entertainment; Bobby Murphree, M.C. and Equipment; Tommy Edwards, Logistics; Melinda Grimmett, On Line Chairperson; Ethel Morgan, Advocacy; Rubye Carr, Mission Delivery; Event Volunteers, Jonnie Mayo, Bonnie Dimock, Geri Cardwell, Red Hat Melons, Dale and Arlene Wilbourn.