Bertie’s battle vs. cancer continues

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WINDSOR – Some goals were accomplished while others are still under way.

Bertie County Relay for Life held their 17th annual event at the Bertie County Recreation Complex Friday night where despite winding up a bit short of their financial goal, Relay officials were able to get the entire county involved in the event.

“We set out to paint Bertie County purple in honor of Relay for Life,” said event co-chair Linda McNair-Moore. “We succeeded in that. We’re very happy to have had the Bertie County Manager, Commissioners and the mayors participate in this event. The whole community came together.”

Overall, the Bertie County Relay for Life raised $135,062.81 as of the close of the event on Saturday. The goal was $201,000. McNair-Moore said that with the amount already slated to come in the rest of the year through payroll deductions, the Bertie County Chapter of the American Cancer Society will have raised $177.715.81.

“We’re still going to be working hard through August to reach that goal,” she said.

Overall, McNair-Moore said she felt the event was a success.

“It was very successful,” she said. “I randomly walked around and talked to several people and they were very happy. We felt like we had the schools involved and the community involved more than ever before.”

McNair-Moore was also pleased with the way the event was held, specifically citing the youngsters who went around continuing to raise money throughout the event.

“It was a happy event, an enjoyable event, but most importantly, it was an event for the cause,” she said.

The opening ceremony featured a host a people who came to support Relay for Life.

The Rev. Dr. Hoyt Cooper, who serves as Mayor Pro-Tempore in Windsor, opened the ceremony with an Invocation.

“Thank you for allowing us to come again to fight this dreaded disease cancer,” Rev. Dr. Cooper said.

Following his invocation, Caitlin Lassiter gave a rendition of the National Anthem.

Windsor Mayor Jimmy Hoggard welcomed Relay for Life back to the county seat.

“We want to welcome everyone to Windsor,” he said. “We feel very fortunate to have you here and to host this event.”

Hoggard said Relay for Life was about courage and inspiration.

“We commend the courage of the survivors and your families,” he said. “We are so encouraged by all you have done.”

Mayor Hoggard said the town had designated May 14 as Relay for Life Day in Windsor.

Also offering words of welcome was Bertie County Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr.

“Back more than 10 years ago, the commissioners bought into the idea of supporting Relay for Life,” Cherry said. “We not only did that in thought, but monetarily. Thus far, the county has donated $6,000.”

Cherry said everyone should work now to help win the fight against cancer.

“The fight is on, but one day the battle will be won,” he said.

Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger said he was proud of the community and especially those from the school district that had joined the fight against cancer.

The superintendent relayed a story about a chicken that was challenged to travel 10 miles and kill a fire-breathing dragon. In the story, the chicken gained friends and allies along the way and eventually all of them worked together to rid themselves of the dragon.

“All of us know the dragon we are here to slay today,” he said. “As we all get in line marching towards this common goal, we can slay cancer.”

Perdue Director of Operations Jeff Stalls said he was extremely proud of the Bertie County fight against cancer and especially the work his company’s employees were doing to aid that effort.

“It’s an honor to be here to represent the community and especially the 1,850 associates at Perdue in Lewiston,” he said.

Senator Ed Jones (D-4tH) was also on hand and encouraged the participants to continue fighting cancer.

“What a worthwhile cause,” Sen. Jones said. “Cancer affects all of us at some point. When I got to these Relay events, it’s so good to see people fighting this dreaded disease. I encourage you to keep fighting.”

Also on the program was retired Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey who encouraged the cancer survivors to keep fighting.

“I stand here as a survivor,” Spivey said. “I’m only seven months in.”

Spivey said he knew that all of them had heard the doctor say the dreaded words that indicated they had cancer, but that it was events like Relay for Life that had allowed many, including himself, to hear later they were cancer free.

Spivey also said he and the other survivors appreciated their efforts.

“To each of you that are walking, every step you take, every one of us are grateful for it,” he said.

Those who have had cancer and survived made the first lap around the track and their caregivers took the second lap.