8/8/2017 5:03:00 PM Relay for Life raises $91,000-plus
In keeping with tradition, local Cancer Survivors had the honor of taking the first lap at the 2017 Jackson County Relay for Life this past Friday evening at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Wellston. Pictured in the front row holding the banner (from the left) are: John Pelletier, Allan Compston, Angie Compston, and Todd Compston. (Telegram Photos By Pete Wilson)
Two-year-old Natalie Ewing of Oak Hill beams after lighting the symbolic Torch of Hope to help officially launch the 2017 Jackson County Relay for Life Friday evening at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Wellston. She was assisted by her proud mother, Megan Ewing.
The 2017 Jackson County Relay for Life raised $91,045.29 for the battle against cancer last Friday night, August 4, exceeding its fundraising goal in the process.
The annual event was held for the second straight year at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Wellston and after some rain fell very early in the proceedings, the weather turned out to be perfect for the remainder of the schedule. Once again, Vinton County was included since it no longer has its own Relay for Life.
Prior to the Opening Ceremonies, the Little Mister and Little Miss Relay for Life contests were held with Archer Saunders being chosen as Little Mister Relay and Chloe Gee as Little Miss Relay.
Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society (ACS) and also is a show of support for Cancer Survivors. Event Leadership Team Tri-Chair Deanna Bragg was the emcee for the Opening Ceremonies with Dana Wiseman singing the National Anthem and cancer survivor and Wellston Presbyterian Church Pastor John Pelletier delivering an opening prayer.
Two-year-old cancer survivor Natalie Ewing of Oak Hill lit the ceremonial Torch of Hope at the Opening Ceremonies. "This little girl is a huge inspiration to all of us," Bragg declared. "If she can get through this, we should be able to get through anything."
Cancer survivors and their caretakers were then given the honor of taking the first lap, with Relay team members following behind them, followed by representatives of local fire departments (Wellston, Scioto Township and Zaleski) and the Jackson County EMS.
The Relay for Life's Event Leadership Team bestowed two major individual honors. The Lady Baesman Memorial Award was presented to breast cancer survivor and dedicated Relay volunteer Cheryl Browning, who is also known for her service as deputy director for the Jackson County Elections Office. She also has been a tireless advocate and volunteer for the battle against drug and alcohol addiction and supporting those striving to recover from it.
Also, the Patricia Howell Community Service Award was presented to cancer survivor Reggie Robinson of Health Recovery Services, who has dedicated many hours to the educational and prevention efforts in Southeastern Ohio against drug use and abuse. He has also been a dedicated volunteer for past Jackson County Relay for Life events by providing disc jockey and announcing services, which he once again provided this year.
The Luminaria Ceremony was held with members of the Wellston High School volleyball team doing much of the on-site volunteer work. The Wellston High School Band, under the direction of Josh Willett, provided live entertainment as did singers Coral Culp, Byrd Manring and Lyndsey Houser.
In addition to announcing the final fundraising total, team awards were also disclosed during the Closing Ceremonies. Bel lisio Foods had the distinction of being the team to raise the most money ($50,062.75).
Team awards were as follows:
Top Family Fundraising Team - Gloria's Hopefuls.
Top Community Fundraising Team - Hope Floats.
Top Business Fundraising Team - Bellisio Foods.
Best Tent Site - Gloria's Hopefuls.
Paint the Town Purple - Jean Dixon, Bubba's Brigade and Bellisio Foods.
Fundraising totals for the teams were as follows: Bellisio Foods, $50,062.75, Hope Floats, $2,032.00; Gloria's Hopefuls, $1,303.11; Kiss My Astro Cytoma, $1,194.00; Bubba's Brigade, $1,177.00; Ohio Valley Bank, $1,041.00; Walmart, $1,010.00; Debbie's Dolls (Jenkins Care Community) $705.00, and CLA ($500.00).
The tri-chairs of the Event Leadership Team for 2017 were: Deanna Bragg, Katie Phillips and Carrie Kisor.