Cancer survivors and their caregivers placed handprints and signatures on a giant board near the main stage of the 2014 Hertford-Gates Relay for Life. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant
Cancer survivors and their caregivers placed handprints and signatures on a giant board near the main stage of the 2014 Hertford-Gates Relay for Life. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

Archived Story

No Surrender!

Published 9:42am Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MURFREESBORO – They scurried for cover, and walked for a cure…raising in excess of $230,000 to help in the fight against cancer.

Despite a wicked thunderstorm late Friday afternoon, one with the threat of a tornado, participants and visitors at the annual Hertford-Gates Relay for Life sought safe shelter within Turner Auditorium of the historic Columns Building on Chowan University’s campus.

By the time the stars came out around midnight and the luminaries were lit…it was “game on” for the 2014 event.

“We weathered the storm and we’re still standing,” said event co-chair Angie Plaunty. “When the storm came through we were left with a decision to cancel or improvise. Cancer patients sometimes have to improvise, so that’s what we did. We went to the Columns Building and held our opening ceremony.”

Plaunty and her two other co-chairs – Stephanie Owens and Jonny Owens – had their fingers crossed for a record-setting fundraising year.

“We had never been over $200,000 in fundraising before Relay weekend began,” Plaunty noted. “We were at $220,000. We were expecting to have a blow-out year….$220,000 in the bank coming in and a Friday and Saturday full of fundraising ahead of us. And then the storm came just as we were getting ready to start Friday evening’s activities and washed our dream down the drain.”

“But we still didn’t quit; our teams didn’t quit,” stressed Owens. “The teams kept encouraging each other.”

“The passion and love for this event was very evident; we refused to quit because of a storm,” Plaunty remarked.

Through Saturday, the 2014 Herford-Gates Relay for Life generated $234,123.09. This year’s goal was $261,000.

“I know we can still reach our goal,” stressed Plaunty. “We have until Aug. 31…we can do this. You guys are awesome.”

There will be a follow-up Bank Night from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13 at Metal Tech of Murfreesboro.

Earning the event’s top awards were:

Little Miss Relay

Lanie Byrum

 

Little Mr. Relay

Henry Hodges

 

Youth Engagement Award

Carly Piland

 

Flame of Hope Award

Runner-up: UnionBaptistChurch

First Place: Echoes of Love

 

Light Up the Night Award

Runner-up: ReynoldsonBaptistChurch

First Place: Metal Tech

 

Team Spirit Award

Runner-up: Roanoke-ChowanCommunityHealthCenter

First Place: UnionBaptistChurch

 

Pack the Track Award

First Place: Metal Tech

 

Best Campsite

Runner-up: UnionBaptistChurch

First place: Nucor Steel

 

Best Team Theme

First Place: WintonBaptistChurch

 

Best Banner

First Place: UnionBaptistChurch

 

Heart of Relay Award

Gene Mitchell

 

Impact Award

Rochelle Harrell

 

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