Relay for Life raises $119,000

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

FRANKLIN — As long as she is able, Eloise Holloway will participate in Franklin-Southampton Relay for Life, just like she did Saturday.

Holloway is a cancer survivor who proudly wore her party hat celebrating her 68th birthday during the Relay for Life event in Franklin. The theme for the 16th annual event was “Celebrating Birthdays Under the Big Top.”

Stricken with colon cancer in 2003 and lung cancer 2004, the Ivor woman is thankful for being in remission.

Franklin-Southampton Relay for Life attracted more than 250 people this year and raised just under $119,000. The goal was $128,000. But the drive doesn’t end until Aug. 31, said co-chairman Kathy Worrell. Donations are still coming in, she said.

Despite a muggy 95-plus degrees, participants joined under the big tent for the cancer-fighting cause. There were as many as 25 teams spread from end to end to take part in “Celebrating Birthdays Under the Big Top,” the event’s theme.

Worrell said the theme was chosen because the American Cancer Society’s hope is to bring more birthdays to those with cancer.

“The ultimate goal, of course, is to find a cure for the disease,” she added.

Relay teams worked diligently to raise funds prior to this event, Worrell continued. Several teams brought in between $3,000 and $8,000. Often the amount of money raised depends on the size of the team, but some of the smaller groups are determined. One small team from the Drewryville/Capron area brought in nearly $3,000.

This is the 16th year for the Franklin-Southampton event.

The Chester Burgess Spirit of Relay Award went to husband and wife Ernest and Sylvia Claud of Drewryville. Ernest Claud beat cancer.

The award, first given to Chester Burgess, now deceased, for his zeal in helping to start the Relay for Life and collecting funds, is given to the person who goes beyond the call of duty for the cause, said co-chairwoman Jane Riddick-Fries. It was named after Burgess by the Franklin-Southampton organization and is presented to the recipient by his son Benny Burgess.

The Pete Clark Corporate Award was given to The Peanut Patch/Fries family. Clark, now deceased, was an avid supporter of Relay for Life and donated numerous hours to the cause, both at and away from his radio station. The radio station continues to support the event.

Master of Ceremonies Jim Jervey said the Fries family fits this category with its unwavering support of Relay for Life.

Also on Saturday, 1,120 names were read honoring those who died from cancer or beat it. Some 1,913 luminaries were lighted for those who had passed.