The Tucker County Relay For life has been deemed a success, by organizers.
The year actually ends Aug. 31, and there are still funds coming in to the committee. Because of the generosity of the people of Tucker County, the American Cancer Society will receive approximately $21,000 for the fight against all kinds of cancer.
The day began with a survivor luncheon provided by Davis Health System and attended by about 55 cancer survivors and their caregivers. After eating, several door prizes were handed out to both survivors and caregivers. The special caregiver prize, a dinner catered in the home by Big John's Family Fixin's, was won by Norman Parks, husband of survivor Cathy Parks.
The Inter-Mountain file photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Hundreds pack the R.H. Armstrong Field in Parsons to celebrate life and raise funds for the Tucker County Relay For Life. Approximately 50 cancer survivors took the lead lap around the field and were joined by their caregivers for the second lap.
The Relay was opened with a welcome from Linda Bonner, chairperson, a prayer by Pastor Allen Crosten, flag-raising by the Tucker County Veterans and the singing of the National Anthem by Aimee Canfield.
The survivor comments were given by Randy Moore, who explained how suddenly he had become ill and how quickly he was treated. The doctors later informed him that they did not believe he would live through the weekend. Through his faith and prayers of many friends, family and community members, he is now in remission.
Following Moore's comments, the survivors took to the track to begin the walking for the day. The survivors were given carnations to present as a thank you to their caregivers and both groups made the second lap together.
Following the survivor/caregiver lap, the 10 teams took to the track to make their lap and show off their movie theme. This was followed by the start of day-long kids' activities and the popular silent auction.
The afternoon was filled with entertainment including vocal presentations by Canfield, The F.U.M.C. Singers and Holly Ash. Instrumental music was presented by guitarist Tyler Bolyard. The Dance by Farrah group provided some exciting entertainment with dancing and gymnastics demonstrations by participants from ages 3 to 16.
After the dancers had finished, the baked goods auction began. The bidding was fast and furious. There were a total of 42 items auctioned off to raise $1,366. The largest price, $150, was paid by Brenda Hedrick for Ronda Helmick's Triple Coconut Cake. The second highest bid came in at $125 for a Chocolate Reese Cake baked by Chef Eric from Canaan Valley Resort.
The evening entertainment was provided by the bluegrass band Jack Hedrick and Friends and the local favorites Joyful Noise. This led to the solemn part of the evening, the Luminaria Ceremony and Memory Lap. Those in attendance stood in silence as the luminaria were lit in honor of survivors and in memory of those who have passed. As the names of those lost to cancer were read, those who were remembering lost loved ones took a silent lap of remembrance. They were later joined by those celebrating the survivors as their names were read.
The celebrating continued with the humorous part of the evening, the Mr. Relay Contest. This year there were five participants. They were "Princess Fiona," Jesse Suesli from Fox's Pizza; "Lili Grace," Randy Hall from First United Methodist Church; "Dorothy," with Toto, Ernie Nestor from the Rubenstein Center; "Perci Cuter," Chris Cooper from Canaan Sun Blockers; and "Mrs. Clause," Lowell Moore from Riverview Chapel. The winner of the contest was "Dorothy" and Toto who raised more than $400 in 30 minutes. He was crowned, given a scepter and had his final stroll before the audience.
Anyone interested in helping with the winter event, Hope on the Slopes, at Canaan Valley Resort on March 1 and 2 or with the regular Relay next summer, may call April at 304-940-0197 or Linda at 304-478-2912.