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Relay raises more than $99,000

With more than $99,000 in the coffers and more expected in coming days, the 2010 edition of Relay For Life is deemed a success. The May 7 fundraising event for the American Cancer Society drew a large crowd to the YMCA football field, and everybody “seemed to have a really good time,” said Relay chair Galahad Smith.

“Someone described it as a very pleasant evening, and I would agree,” Smith said.

“While our sponsorship numbers were down, our teams really turned it around and made up the difference. I can’t believe all their energy.”

With a couple of teams out of pocket and unable to turn in their monies on time, and other funds still trickling in, Smith said on Tuesday he fully expects Butler County to top $100,000.

“That means we’ll actually do a little bit better than last year. And considering in the state of Alabama, county Relays are down an average of 17 percent from last year, I think we’ve done very, very well,” Smith said.

Southside Baptist Church’s team was the top fundraising team of 0-15 members; Banktrust took the honors for teams of 16-30 members, and L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital’s team was the top fundraiser for teams with 30 or more members.

The coveted Spirit of Relay trophy went to Hometown Medical Equipment.

The small but mighty team known as Harley’s Angels took the trophy for top per capita fundraising team. The top overall team with a total of over $10,200 was Southside Baptist Church, which also took the RFL Platinum Award.

Silver Award winners were L.V. Stabler and Harley’s Angels, and the Bronze Award went to Whitney Bank, Brushey Creek, Alabama Power, Amedisys and Antioch East Baptist Church. Sells Medical Equipment served as the event’s major sponsor.

In team competitions, Southside took the award for Best Campsite; First Baptist Church won Best Entrée in the Cook-Off and Amedisys won for Best Dessert.

Sponsored by Southside, a sultry blonde in a black mini, Talladega Tina (better known as Tim Jones), was selected as “Miss” Relay in the annual Womanless Beauty Pageant. T.J. Bender won the title of Relay Idol 2010 for his performance of an original song, accompanying himself on guitar.

Other contestants were drummer Greg Bowden, and vocalists Hannah Johnson, Amy Lewis and Amy Taylor.

New additions to Relay this year included radio personality Mark Richie serving as color commentator for events like Chicken Chase and the Hula Hoop Contest; a silent auction, which netted $600 for the fight against cancer, and a red carpet walk by stars from the recent Greenville Area Arts Council production of “Putting on the Ritz” as a tie-in with the event’s movie theme.

In coming weeks, the ACS board will be meeting to discuss plans for next year’s event and give final tallies of the total monies raised, Smith said.

“We had great community support as always, and we are looking to make it even bigger and better in 2011. We appreciate everyone – all our sponsors, teams, board members, volunteers and community supporters – for making this happen,” he said.