Seventeen teams, 134 participants, 59 survivors, more than $26,400. These numbers equal the 2014 Foothills Relay for Life held in Elkin May 3, and are numbers that organizers want to continue to grow.
While the finale dinner for team captains was held Monday night, teams have through August to continue contributing to the 2014 Relay campaign, said Amy Cothren, Relay Committee chairwoman. As of Monday, the campaign had raised $26,453.
“Every dollar is a dollar well raised,” Cothren said, noting the total didn’t meet the group’s goal this year of $49,500.
Cothren recognized Relay Committee members for their contributions, including Donald Gilliam for accounting; Sherry and Charlie Chappell for luminaries; Donal Carter for publicity; Greg Tippett for online; Shannon Stone for survivorship; and Janet Guyer for logistics.
Each of the teams were presented with certificates of participation. The teams include Walmart Sparks of Life, PVH Cares, Walgreens Warriors, Relay Committee Git Er Done, Walmart Subway Fresh Start, Elkin Presbyterian Church, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Community Bank Team First, Team Hope of Partners Behavioral Healthcare, Town of Elkin, Yadkin Bank, East Elkin Full Gospel Church, BB&T, Cato of Elkin, Elkin Middle School, Elkin Elementary School and Elkin High School.
“Whether they fund raise or set up at the event, this area gets recognized for 100 percent school participation,” said Jami Myers, American Cancer Society staff partner. “It is super important that our kids learn to give back to the community.”
Cothren announced the Rookie Team award went to Cato.
“They had a great time this year,” added Myers of the Cato team. “It is good a new team said they enjoyed it and want to come back, and we’ve opened some doors. The Wilkes and Ashe Catos have Relay teams now too.”
“And they are already planning on stuff for next year,” said Cothren.
Myers and Cothren tag-teamed announcing the top three fundraising teams for the Foothills Relay for Life and presenting plaques to team captains.
The number three team award went to Walmart of Elkin, which was accepted by Tippett. Yadkin Bank received the number two award, and Myers said the team “fully committed and fundraised at all of their branches.”
The top fundraising team award went to PVH. “We appreciate all they do in both Yadkin and Foothills regions,” said Myers, as she presented the award to Carter, who represents PVH.
“We want to thank all of our teams and sponsors this year for everything they donated and to volunteers for the hours they put in and the committee,” said Myers.
Those attending Monday acknowledged that the Relay, which benefits the American Cancer Society, is rebuilding and growing in Elkin, and changes could be coming for next year’s event, according to Myers.
“We will be working through the summer to build the Relay Committee and set a new date (for the 2015 Relay),” she said.
After polling participants in the 2014 Relay, Myers said most people want the Foothills Relay moved back to Elkin Municipal Park, rather than held at Elkin High School as it was this year. Also, those polled said they want it to return to a Friday night event, rather than Saturday afternoon.
Two dates are available in spring of 2015 at the park, Myers said, May 29 and June 5. But she said organizers will be exploring other happenings in the community before setting a final date.
“We have a lot of work to do this summer in moving forward,” said Myers.
She announced that the Foothills Relay’s new staff partner will be Melissa Hiatt, who has worked with Relays for many years and has been involved in the Mount Airy Relay for some time.
“We are super excited about Melissa coming on board,” Myers said. “She is seasoned and she’ll be taking on this new area.
“Our goal is to rebuild this area and build partnerships in Surry County. There is a lot of opportunity to explore.”
The Foothills Relay for Life is seeking volunteers to join its Relay Committee. Areas of service include lining up entertainment for the event, online, survivorship, fundraising, marketing/publicity, hospitality, sponsorships, advocacy and logistics.
“We need to look in our families, our churches, other areas to find those touched by cancer to volunteer on the committee,” Myers said. “Think about who you know and who can help us in this fight. Some people who are touched by cancer are truly motivated to fight and give back.”
The committee plans to come together in July with Hiatt and Myers and look toward the future.
“We have a lot of good things going for this event,” Myers said, noting the increase in survivors who registered this year over last year.
“I personally want to thank everyone. This isn’t our committee’s Relay, it’s the community’s Relay,” Cothren said. “This couldn’t have been pulled off without each and every one of you. And I want to thank the teams because we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”
Those interested in serving on the Relay Committee can contact Cothren at 336-957-1344.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.