Relay attendance high this year, fundraising goal nearly met

Published 6:19 pm Monday, April 30, 2012

Both attendance and donations reached well into the thousands at the 2012 Relay For Life of Chilton County.

The annual event was held Friday, April 27 at Clanton City Park.

Committee member Jerry Grooms said it was one of the largest turnouts in many years, and he estimated 3,500 to 4,000 people attended.

About 150 survivors participated in the Survivor Lap, including Relay committee members Kristi Langston, Linda Hand, Kerri Minor, Grooms and Lilianna Thompson, honorary event chairwoman.

Lilianna, 2, made a surprise appearance at the event and took part in the Survivors’ Lap.

“I continue to feel very humbled to serve as the Relay For Life event chair in a community that takes such a stand against cancer,” Relay chairwoman Aimee Eiland said. “None of it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of my outstanding RFL committee, sponsors, team captains and endless volunteers. I want to thank everyone involved for participating in this year’s Relay For Life of Chilton County and spreading the power of purple throughout the community.”

The committee is currently at $151,000 of its fundraising goal of $175,000 and has until Aug. 1 to make it.

“I have no doubt we can do it,” Eiland said. “If every registered participant turns in $60 between now and August, we will reach our goal.”

Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and mailed to Attn: Relay For Life of Chilton County, 1100 Ireland Way, Ste. 201, Birmingham, AL 35205 or dropped off with Courtney Brock, Relay For Life accounting chairwoman, at Chilton Medical Center.

“Statistics tell us that 208 people in Chilton County will be diagnosed with cancer in the coming year,” Eiland said. “It may be me. It may be you. None of us know what tomorrow brings, but one thing I do know without any doubt is that the American Cancer Society is available to help Chilton County 24/7.”

Spirit of Relay awards went to Jemison High School’s campsite “A Land Without Cancer Would Be So Sweet,” Southern Care’s “Follow That Dream To A Cure” team, Merchants Food Service T-shirts, Crowns For A Cure youth team and Chilton County YMCA for painting Chilton purple.

Other awards were:

•Top online fundraiser: Cure Crusaders.

•Top school: Isabella High School, captain Christie Payne, $5,282.

•Top church: Mineral Springs Baptist Church, captain Debbie Vinzant, $10,497.79.

•Top individual: Debbie Vinzant.

•Top youth: Youth Fighting Cancer, captains Cade and Kailee Williams, $1,947.50.

•Top business: Peoples Southern Bank, captain Cheryl Henderson, $5,000.

•Top organization: Mid Alabama Rovers, captain Sarah Northcutt, $7,049.

•New “rookie” award: Cure Crusaders, captain Jessica Fulmer, $2,037.50.

•Top overall team: Mineral Springs Baptist Church, captain Debbie Vinzant, $10,497.79.

•Gross funds raised and totaled the night of Relay: $151,662.40.