Members of “Team Joe” walk in memory of the late Joe Alexander during Friday’s portion of the annual Bertie County Relay for Life. Alexander, a former Windsor Town Commissioner and former Windsor Fire Department member, lost his battle with cancer three weeks ago. Staff Photo by Gene Motley
Members of “Team Joe” walk in memory of the late Joe Alexander during Friday’s portion of the annual Bertie County Relay for Life. Alexander, a former Windsor Town Commissioner and former Windsor Fire Department member, lost his battle with cancer three weeks ago. Staff Photo by Gene Motley

Archived Story

Cancer fundraiser tops $200K

Published 9:26am Thursday, May 22, 2014

WINDSOR – Fighting harder and lifting higher.

Bertie County’s 2014 Relay For Life theme was “Finish the Fight”, and the supporters who turned out at Bertie High School’s Roy Bond Stadium for this year’s walk not only showed that their contributions are helping in the fight against cancer, but these ‘warriors’ are ready to step up with their dollars for support.

“Relay For Life” ran from 6:30 Friday evening to 12 noon on Saturday at the site.

2014 Bertie co-chairman Artie Johnson said that as of the end of the weekend, $163,862 had been raised.

“And we still have some $64,098 still to be collected in outstanding corporate sponsorships and payroll deductions,” Johnson said in a telephone interview.

That outstanding addition gives the county a total of $227,960 raised for Relay, with more funds collected throughout the rest of the year.

One of the most inspiring groups that participated was “Team Joe”, the Joe Alexander team, named for the Windsor Town Commissioner and former Windsor Fire Department member who last year led an inspiring walk with local firemen.

Alexander lost his battle with cancer some three weeks ago, but his team was there last weekend and continued the fight.   They auctioned off a basketball signed by every member of the Duke University 2013-14 team, raising some $2,000.  According to Johnson, the money raised which will be split evenly between the Windsor Fire Department and Relay For Life.

“We will continue fund raising throughout the year,” said Johnson. “And we’ll also continue trying to find a cure for cancer.”

Among the highlights of this year’s event were the return of the rock band, Moonshine, which consists of members primarily from Bertie and Hertford counties – Tony Fornes, guitar and vocals; James Lane, bass and vocals; R.T. Johnson, guitar and vocals; Jimmy Pelt, drums and vocals; and Cliff Jernigan, sound and light engineer.

Also new this year was the 12 midnight “Pageant With A Purpose”, the WomanLESS Beauty Pageant, which had several Bertie Schools principals participating.

“They raised over $400,” said Johnson.

On Saturday, Eternal Collision – a group of strongmen who break cinderblocks and stacks of bricks with both their hands as well as their heads sometimes – wowed the crowd with a demonstration of their athletic prowess.

“We had a good survivor turnout, a great luminary ceremony, and we raised a lot of money,” said Johnson. “But the most important thing is that the fight must continue.”

And it’s still a long way to the finish.

 

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