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Hertford-Gates Relay leads the nation

MURFREESBORO — Number one in the nation.

After years of raising funds to help fight cancer, Hertford-Gates Relay for Life has earned that title.

On Monday night, the group announced it had captured a 2008 national fundraiser award in recognition for their efforts.

Proudly displaying their certificate, Hertford-Gates Relay officials announced they had been ranked number one for the 30,000 to 35,000 per capita events in the nation.

Each Relay event is ranked in a population category.

Committee members, team leaders and members alike hugged and applauded their achievement. The award was officially bestowed upon them at a recent Relay University event.

This year alone Hertford-Gates Relay raised more than $241,000 in funds for the American Cancer Society, which is dedicated to eradicating the disease.

More than 700 people participated in this year’s Relay for Life event held in April at Chowan University’s Squirrel Park. Donations for the cause were taken until August.

Relay 2008 Co-Chair Artie Johnson thanked those committee and teams for their participation.

“I think it’s an awesome accomplishment for the Hertford-Gates area,” he said to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald in a later interview. “I think it’s a great boost and inspiration (for this coming year).”

Hertford-Gates received a letter dated November 14 from the American Cancer Society notifying the group of their award.

“Congratulations on your outstanding achievement to support the South Atlantic Division and your local regional efforts through Relay for Life,” the letter stated. “As a result, the South Atlantic Division is ranked in first place.”

The letter continues, “Your efforts will enable us to continue to reach out to those fighting cancer with our many mission programs and financially support the newest researchers in our universities and institutions.”

It concluded, “Congratulations on being a 2008 nationally recognized award winner.”

The Nucor Steel Relay team was recognized for being ranked number seven in corporate teams.

Hertford-Gates Relay also nabbed the Excellence Relay Award for the Region 4 South Atlantic Division.

Gates County Schools was recognized for their 100 percent participation in the Region 4 South Atlantic Division.