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County Relay for Life Nets More than #036;14,000 For ACS

COAL GROVE – When it comes to wiping out a dreaded disease such as cancer, it often takes one step at a time.

Sunday, May 06, 2001

COAL GROVE – When it comes to wiping out a dreaded disease such as cancer, it often takes one step at a time.

Friday and Saturday at the Dawson-Bryant High School track, though, many steps were taken towards finding a cure for cancer.

Hundreds participated in the most profitable Relay for Life in Lawrence County history this past weekend. At the end, a total of $14,328.46 was raised for the American Cancer Society, up from just over $3,000 a year ago. Participation also was up tremendously as team numbers went from seven last year to 30 this year.

"We only had seven teams last year and our goal was to increase that," said Janice Jones, who co-chaired the event with Brenda Haas. "The committe’s real goal was to get awareness and publicity out, and wed did that."

This year’s 10-person committee, with the exception of two members, is new blood. According to organizers, the difference this year was promotion.

"We worked all year long this year," said committee member Debbie Fields.

Jones added plans for next year’s event are already in the works. She said committee members are going to get involved in the Cabell County, W.Va. and Boyd County, Ky. relays to solicit ideas which may help the local event grow even more.

It all began at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the survivor’s dinner. At 7 p.m., the survivors led the "Victory Lap" to kick off the relay.

One of those survivors was Keith Robinson, who was diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma over three-and-a-half years ago. This is his second year participating in the event.

"It’s a great thing they are doing this to raise money to fight cancer and be able to take care of people who have cancer," he said.

As darkness descended on the track, luminaries in memory of those who lost the battle with cancer lit the way for the walkers. Candles were also passed out to those participating in the event.

Participants continued walking throughout the night and up until organizers presented awards at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Raising the most money this year was the "Great Ones" from the Lawrence County ESC. The team raised $1,452.57. The runner-up team was "Be the Answer, Cure Cancer," raising $1,178.15. The team honored for raising the most money on site was "Road Runners", who collected $260.

Other awards went to "Praying for a Cure" (Best Decorations) and Ms. Perkins’ Hippies (Most Spirit).