August 9, 2001

Scotland County Relay For Life Raises More Than $14,000 For Cancer Society

A lot of people walk around the Scotland County square every day of the week, but it took a special group of volunteers to join together August 3-4 to circle the square more than 5,700 times during the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The walkers raised more than $14,000 for the charity in the process.

Initially the Cancer Society committee in charge of the event had set, what it felt was a lofty goal, of $10,000 for the event. But when the final laps were completed at 7:00 a.m., the last scrap of food was sold and the luminaries and other items were packed away for next year, the coffers for the national movement for a cure to cancer had swelled by $14,492 thanks to Scotland County.

A total of 10 teams participated in the 12-hour walk marathon. The teams were Scotland County Care Center, Mona's Studio, Pamida, Methodist Youth Group, Xi Theta Tau, Scotland County Memorial Hospital, Firstar Bank, Masonic Lodge, Malinda Crawford's Misfits, and Scotland County R-I Schools. The 10 teams walked a total of 5,700 laps around the square, or the equivalent of approximately 1,125 miles.

The festivities got underway at 7:00 p.m. August 3 as the Wallace W. Gillespie Post #4958 of the V.F.W. presented the Colors as Lindsay Becraft led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and then performed the National Anthem.

After event chairperson Diane Tague welcomed the crowd, cancer survivors Ron Alexander and Connie Courtney addressed the gathering regarding the importance of being aware of cancer. Each is a cancer survivor and both stressed the need for early detection as a key to beating the disease.

The first lap of the Relay for Life featured more than 50 cancer survivors from across Scotland County, led by Courtney and Alexander. This group was then joined by caregivers and family members for the second lap before the teams took to the course.

The walkers and the crowd of people that attended the event were entertained throughout the evening by live entertainment from local performers like Becraft, Sidney Priebe, Heather Robinson, Melissa Cotton and Jerry Similien.

The main event took place at 9:00 p.m. with the lighting of the luminaries in memory of family members lost to cancer. More than 300 candles lined the four sides of the square and were lit to light the relay course and offer inspiration for the walkers.

Dr. Greg Collier was on hand for the entire 12-hours to serve as D.J. and play music throughout the event.

The walkers were treated to a special breakfast courtesy of J's IGA and the Scotland County Fire Department. They were served pancakes and eggs at the fire station.

With just 15 minutes left in the morning the groups received the final word on the fundraiser. The crowd gave a huge round of applause when the $14,452 amount was read over the loud speaker.

Five plaques were also presented at this time. Firstar Bank team won the award for most laps walked. The Scotland County Care Center team received the Most Spirit award. The Lip Sync trophy went to Mona's Studio team. Pamida received the plaque for the most money raised. The best campsite award went to the Methodist Youth Group.

Each team member for all 10 groups released a balloon as the official closing ceremony for the 2001 event. That also marked the start of the 2002 Relay for Life.

The group still has a few T-shirts left over for the event. They are for sale for $10. To purchase a shirt or to pledge your support for next year's event contact Diane Tague at 282-3486 or co-chairman Leslie Troutman at 465-2253.

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