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RFL: Short of goal…long on effort

MURFREESBORO—It’s a 24-hour party and simultaneously a gathering of warriors fighting on the frontlines in the battle against that faceless, unbiased enemy called cancer.

This past weekend thousands packed Chowan University’s Squirrel Park to celebrate, hope and fight back at Hertford-Gates Relay for Life. The annual event, now in its ninth year, offers a variety of fundraising activities and ceremonies.

Over all, this year’s Relay collected $211,527.90 for the American Cancer Society, an organization with the goal of eradicating the disease.

Though the amount raised fell short of the committee’s $245,000 goal, according to Relay Co-Chair Bonnie Langdale donations will still be accepted until August 31.

“This year has been an economic struggle for everyone, but Hertford-Gates have done it again,” said Langdale. “They dug deep and gave generously.”

Langdale said in all, the event went well.

“I think we had more participants this year,” she said. “All of the chairs’ were excited for Relay.”

The goal for luminaries was met, as sales were totaled at $23,010 just over the $23,000 objective. The corporate sponsor total was $58,562 with a goal of $58,000.

The goal for the number of cancer survivors was 310, while the total was 312. Cheryl’s Girls recruited the most survivors with 29.

Relay officials also announced the top teams for the event. Nucor Steel was recognized as the top fundraising team collecting $42,175. Cheryl’s Girls placed as runner-up raising $19,833.

Ridgecroft School was recognized with the Rookie Team award, while Evelyn Rawls was honored with the Heart of Relay award and Candace Matthews earned the Impact award for her work in recruiting Chowan University (CU) Relay teams. This year’s event had 13 teams from CU, the largest amount ever to participate.

Cheryl’s Girls were triumphant with luminaries’ sales as they came in as the top team, selling 400 of the bagged candles. Gates County Educators was runner-up with 180 sold. Echoes of Love sold the most Flames of Hope, while Cheryl’s Girls came in second.

Langdale said donations can be sent to Relay’s Accounting Officer Evelyn Rawls, P.O. Box 43, Aulander, NC 27805. Checks can be made payable to the American Cancer Society.

Other top fundraising teams include:

Top Corporate Teams:

Nucor: $42,175

Metal Tech: $14,818

Top University Teams:

Student Educators: $1,367

Alpha Sigma Tau: $845

Top Healthcare Teams:

Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center: $5,263

Roanoke Chowan Hospital: $4,240

Top Church Teams:

First Baptist Church of Ahoskie: $5,764

Reynoldson Baptist Church: $5,467

Top School Teams:

Ridgecroft School: $11,366

Riverview Elementary: $5,093

Top School System Team:

Gates County Educators: $12,492

Top Organization Teams:

Melrose Women’s Club: $5,724

American Legion: $4,014

Top Family and Friends Teams:

Cheryl’s Girls: $19,831

Sadie’s Ladies: $6,079

The following teams were also honored:

Team Spirit:

1st Echoes of Love

2nd Think Pink

Best Team Campsite:

1st Cheryl’s Girls

2nd Nucor

3rd First Baptist Church of Ahoskie

Best Team Theme:

1st Union Baptist Church

2nd CU Praise Dancers

3rd Gates County Educators

Top Team Banners:

1st Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center

2nd CU Science Club

3rd Reynoldson Baptist Church

Talent Show:

1st Keepers of Hope

2nd Nucor

3rd TLC 4-H