Relay For Life raises $139k

Published 7:13 pm Monday, April 29, 2013

Survivors don their "Survivor" sashes for their walk following the opening ceremonies at Relay For Life on Friday night.

Survivors don their “Survivor” sashes for their walk following the opening ceremonies at Relay For Life on Friday night.

With Chilton County’s 2013 Relay For Life event on the books, those involved are taking a short break to reflect on the success of the 12-hour rally this weekend before fundraising efforts continue.

To date, the total amount of money raised for the American Cancer Society by local individuals, teams and sponsorships is $139,192.46.

The Chilton County Relay For Life goal for this year is $153,500.

Relay Chairwoman Aimee Eiland said 61 teams comprised this year’s Relay and exceeded the committee’s goal of having at least 60 teams.

Eiland said Johnson Controls sponsored the Luminaria/Remember Ceremony—the first time the ceremony has had a sponsor—and raised an additional $2,080 as a team.

Eiland also recognized committee member Jerry Grooms for his 20 years of service to Chilton County Relay For Life in the capacities of team member, caregiver and cancer survivor.

Grooms first got involved with Relay to help his wife Vickey raise money for the Chilton County Board of Education team, as well as a team at his church.

His involvement with Relay progressed when Vickey was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, and then again when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011.

Eiland said through it all, Grooms continued to serve on the Relay committee and never missed a beat as far as his responsibilities were concerned.

“It’s been a good 20 years,” Grooms said. “Thank y’all. It’s been fun.”

She presented him with a commemorative plaque during the opening ceremonies Friday night and recognized her entire committee for their work.

“I would like to thank my committee members for their dedication to making this year’s event a great success,” Eiland said. “They put in many hours year-round and without them, Relay would not be possible. They each have a special place for Relay in their hearts and carry a torch for those affected by cancer in our community.”

Eiland announced Courtney Brock as her successor as Relay chairwoman for next year.

“Though I have been involved with Relay in different roles for a total of 17 years, I have now completed my two-year commitment as the event chairperson for Chilton County,” Eiland said. “It has been an honor serving in this capacity for the past two years. Memories have been made that will last a lifetime.

“The future of our Relay is in great hands under her leadership,” she said. “She (Brock) is passionate about making a difference in the fight against cancer.”

Eiland said the committee is constantly looking for new people throughout the county to serve, and anyone interested can contact her at

Others who helped with the location and security of the overnight event were the city of Clanton, Clanton Parks and Recreation and the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department.