Relay For Life kicks off 14th year in county

Published 5:16 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

Tyler Owens, son of cancer survivor and Relay Committee member Marie Owens, helps out with handing out door prize tickets at the Relay kickoff.

On the grounds of what was then Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College, a fundraising event new to the area was born 14 years ago.

In 1997, Butler County’s first Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society was held. It has since changed locations twice in need of growing room. Relay has become a huge community event as people from all walks of life gather to celebrate, remember and fight back against the foe of cancer,

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On Tuesday night Relay Chair Galahad Smith, Relay committee members, team captains and volunteers gathered to kick off another Relay season as a Power Point presentation flashed images from past Relays on the walls of the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center.

Attendees enjoyed light refreshments, heard an inspirational speech from Hero of Hope, Joy Watkins, a five-year breast cancer survivor and gathered plenty of useful information to plan ahead for this year’s Western-themed event, “Rustlin’ for a Cure,” set for May 6 at the YMCA football field in Greenville.

Here are some events and fundraisers to mark on your calendars:

*Singing Valentines-A fundraising tradition from past years, Singing Valentines are returning in 2011, courtesy of Gerri Castleberry and some of her musical friends. “We have a list of songs to choose from and you can select a tentative time for us to deliver it, and give us the address where you want us to go. We’ll provide an unforgettable treat for your special someone,” said Castleberry. A donation of $15 per Singing Valentine should be delivered to Marie Owens at Bank Trust in downtown Greenville. Call Castleberry at 382-5999 or 382-1505 for more information.

*2nd Annual Chili Cook-off for a Cure-Tina Luker and the staff of AlaCare are again hosting a chili cookoff at the Butler County Fairgrounds, set for March 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A $25 entry fee for all Relay teams and $10 will let you sample all the chili you can eat. Entertainment is also planned, along with a concession stand manned by the Boys and Girls Club.

*2nd Annual Bike Ride for Butler County–Karen Higgins is organizing the county’s second cycling fundraiser, set for March 19.

*Survivors Luncheon-The annual Survivors Luncheon will be at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center at 11:30 a.m. April 29.

More information on the cook-off and the bike ride will be available at the next Team Captain’s Meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. at the YMCA.

For additional information concerning RFL, contact event chair Galahad Smith at 334-657-9057; team development, Marie Owens, 334-368-2231; team recruitment, Lisa Lowe,, and activities, Gerri McGinnis, 382-5729.