The eighth annual Texas County Relay for Life raised more than $61,000, an organizer reported Tuesday about the event, which generates funds for the American Cancer Society.
“We’re a large county, but one that has faced many economic challenges during the last few years,” said Dawn Spencer, Relay for Life chairperson. “This total demonstrates the heart of our community as they responded to needs of their family, friends and neighbors.”
The event ended early Saturday morning after hundreds of supporters gathered at Tiger Stadium to raise money to battle cancer and support cancer research and cancer victims._The ceremony began at 7 p.m. Friday with a large group of cancer survivors, all wearing purple shirts and holding purple balloons, taking the ceremonial first lap around the track. They were greeted with applauses the entire way around as they passed tents set up on the infield. Jennifer Veasy completed 50 laps – the most by a survivor. Ninety-eight participated.
After two hours of teams walking laps around the track and money being raised through games and food, the ceremonies paused for a luminaria ceremony that included an emotional message from a cancer survivor. The lights at Tiger Stadium were turned off as candles were held by everyone present to honor those who had lost the fight for cancer and celebrate those who had defeated the disease._Music groups entertained throughout the night from a stage in the middle of the football field as the relay lasted nearly 12 hours. It ended at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
Several persons received recognition at the close: Most spirited individual, Carol Woods; best team spirit, Radiant Red Rays; best decorated camp site, Forbes and Campbell family; most money by an individual, Alma Thomas, $2,600; most money by a team, Nagle Christian Church and friends, $10,513; most laps by an individual, Damon Yourchisin, 111; most laps by a team, Roby Christian Church; volunteer of the year, Bryce Williamson; most luminaria sold by an individual, Alma Thomas; most luminaria sold by a team, Nalge Christian Church and friends; most survivors on a team, Nagle Christian Church and friends; school spirit, Ed Edington and Houston Schools; youth award, Kyle Jacobs; and Gordon Klatt Award, Dawn Spencer.
Donations are still being taken. Persons can send them to First National Bank, P.O. Box 440, Houston, Mo. 65483. Attention: Kristen Honeycutt.