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Change of scenery, but not purpose

AULANDER – Despite a change of venue, this year’s Bertie Relay for Life seems to have been a success.

Bobbie Parker, one of the event’s organizers, reports $117,538.90 has been banked to date.

That money was raised during the Friday-Saturday event, but Parker says she anticipates around $170,000 before all is said and done.

This year’s &uot;stretch&uot; fundraising goal was set at $155,000.

&uot;We’re going to make the actual goal with no problem because we have payroll deductions and additional corporate sponsor money yet to come in that is anticipated,&uot; Parker stated.

Turnout wasn’t as high as expected, due in part to Bertie County Schools being in session for a makeup day Saturday.

&uot;There was disappointment in the fact that school was scheduled for Saturday, that did hurt the crowd Friday night because of our schools not being able to be involved.

Most just felt like it wasn’t worth the time and energy to come set up tents for just a few hours and then go home for school the next day,&uot; Parker noted.

However, things still turned out well overall.

Parker continued, &uot;All in all I think things went very well… props to (Aulander) chief of police Mike Patterson and the officers on hand for security and for tracking the storm that came through Friday night.&uot;

She added, &uot;We had a great time; the Mike-E show was just wonderful and just from the comments that we’ve gotten from everyone, they were very pleased with the atmosphere and the facilities at the new venue.&uot;

The team for the Town of Aulander raised the most money with $12,520.28.

Ross Baptist Church came in second place with $10,296.95, and the Bertie County Health Department was third with $9,657.

Corporate sponsors for the event included Perdue Farms, Inc. at the platinum level (contributed more than $5,000).

Diamond level sponsors ($2,500-$4,999) were Bertie Ambulance Service, Bertie County Rural Health Associates, Coastal Medical Transport, and University Health Systems/Bertie Memorial Hospital.

Gold level sponsors ($1,000-$2,499) included the Town of Windsor, Center Grove Baptist Church, Bertie County Arts Council, Connaritsa Baptist Church, In Memory of Geraldine B. Bryant, Merry Hill Baptist Church, Metropolitan Church of God, Pritchett & Burch PLLC, Riverside Baptist Church, Roanoke Electric Care Trust, Sandy Branch Baptist Church, Wal-Mart of Ahoskie and W.R. White, Inc.

Dozens of individuals and other local businesses also contributed at the silver, bronze, or century club level.

Tricia Drew was recognized as the individual raising the most money with her total amount of $8,000.

The Bertie County Health Department recruited the most cancer survivors to attend Relay with 32 of them participating in the event.

The Town of Aulander sold the most luminaries at 151.

Janet Bunch received the Best Spirit Award and Bertie Memorial Hospital was granted the Best Team Theme award.

Their theme was MASH (May All See Hope).

Colerain Elementary School had the best tent decoration with their Mardi Gras theme, and Aulander Medical Practice with their &uot;Simon Says&uot; design was given the Best T-Shirt award.

Aulander Medical Practice walked 225 laps (37.5 miles) – the most of any team – and Carlette Spruill walked the most for any individual with 28 laps (4.67 miles).

The Golden Pillowcase Award (team with the most people spending the night) was given to Bertie Memorial Hospital, and the Last Tent Standing Award (team with the most people remaining at closing ceremony) was awarded to the Town of Aulander.