The People's Tribune

Relay Raises Over $50,000

Relay Committee Thrilled To Exceed Goal By About $10,000!

Pike County Relay for Life celebrated 20 years this year and had another fantastic event raising more than $10,000 over the goal they had set. More than $50,000 was raised by teams and sponsors to benefit the American Cancer Society. Above, Brooklyn Hedge and Emmit Henningfeld cut the ribbon at relay.

Another successful Pike County Relay for Life was held on Saturday at the fairgrounds, raising more than $50,000 for the American Cancer Society, which is $10,000 more than the goal.

Relay Chair Lynn Reuther said she would give spirit awards to every team this year.

“This was a very hard-working bunch of team leaders and team members,” she remarked. “I also want to thank our sponsors both old and new. While we lost many past sponsors this year, many new sponsors stepped up and helped us exceed our sponsor amount from the previous year.”

The weather was hot at Relay, but folks enjoyed activities throughout the day.

Each team had games and activities set up at their campsites and all of the teams competed in fun challenges throughout the day in addition to the entertainment.

The evening ceremony kicked off at 6 p.m. The Clarksville VFW presented the flags and the national anthem was led by Tricia Luke and Hanna Blackmore. Invocation was given by Marion Branstetter.

Several individuals received “Friend of Relay” plaques this year.

Brooklyn Hedge and Emmit Henningfeld were the ribbon-cutters at this year’s event and were cheered on by the crowd as last year’s ribbon-cutters helped out and held the ceremonial ribbon.

Speaking on behalf of caregivers for those battling cancer were Debbie Huckstep and her daughter, Cassie Huckstep-Spangler. Both have battled cancer and have provided care in times of hardship.

The Survivor Speaker this year was Talley Saucier who has fought a treacherous battle with cancer over the years yet always remaining hopeful and optimistic.

Dr. Gene Smith and Jackie Branstetter were the grand marshals this year. Bruce McKenna had also been asked and eagerly accepted but lost the battle with cancer before this year’s event. A special table was set up for McKenna with his picture.

The crowd cheered for survivors who led the first lap of Relay as they do every year. The 2017 state champion 4×800 relay track team of Quinn Grote, Hannah Kroencke, Erin Martin and Kate Klott lit the torches for the luminaria lighting this year. As it is every year the mood was quiet and somber as the names of those with luminarias were read and lit around the track.

The Kountry Friends team led the way in fund-raising this year with a staggering $14,698. The Pike County Memorial Hospital team was second with $5,124; the Gettin’ It Done 4 Relay team was third with $4,472 and the Country Hicks Kickin’ It was fourth with $4,393.

Reuther noted the Bowling Green Presbyterian Church turned in over $2,600 from food sales at relay and numbers from silent auction are still being tallied.

She added that over the past 20 years people have answered the call to Relay.

“No matter what is going on in the world, we have proven here in Pike County that we are strong and supportive whenever the need arises. We work together as a team, family, friends, and neighbors, for the better good of each of us,” she noted. “I think it is important to instill in the young the importance of community service through events like this. To know that we had six kids age 12 and under raise nearly $4,000 is phenomenal. These kids had to ask for donations, do public speaking in front of their school, and set up stands to sell lemonade and snow-cones.”

Work is already underway on next year’s Relay for Life. Anyone interested in taking part is urged to contact Reuther or any Relay committee member.

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