Co-organizer Dannye Wagner said they raised $115,400, less than the roughly $120,000 they raised last year. She attributed it to the rain and the economy, but was still glad because that’s more than $115,000 that’ll go to cancer research.
“We do the best we can … We have one pie, and we’re all sharing it. We’re proud to be sharing the pie, and we’ll just do the best we can,” Wagner said.
Well over 100 survivors were there to help raise money for cancer research, about as many as last year, said Wagner. Ruby Hyde and Efraim Arrastia were a couple of the survivors that told their stories.
Hyde, a Trigg County native, is one of the survivor honorary co-chairs, and has been a cervical cancer survivor for more than 11 years now. She has been involved in the past six Relays for Life. She said family and friends have helped her.
“It was rough for a while, but I had a … good chance of surviving in every way,” Hyde said.
She said doctors gave her 35 treatments of radiation and five treatments of chemotherapy, and that while it was rough, she is “hanging in there” and enjoying life.
Arrastia was born in Havana, Cuba, and was raised for much of his life in Milwaukee, Wis., after he family fled from Castro’s Cuba, and five years ago he beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that attack lymph nodes.
“There’s a great group of people supporting me, my wife, my mom, my family,” Arrastia, president of Friends of Lake Barkley State Resort Park, said. He added that this is his first year in Relay for Life.
Wagner said that when it looked like it was going to pour, everyone was moved in an orderly fashion to the Middle School gym, and then after it stopped raining at about 8 p.m., people started moving back outside. The rain didn’t really dampen spirits very much though, as people were still having a good time, she added.
“When you see the survivors and how happy they are, and how honored and proud they are to be here … it’s very emotional,” Wagner said. “That’s just part of it.”
Oak Grove Baptist Church raised the most money of the teams, raising $32,563, followed by Ms. Fits, who raised $30,700, and Kirby Family and Friends, who raised $6,392, said Wagner, who also said the rookie team, St. Stephen’s Saints, raised $5,871.
Linda Tribble raised the most of any individual, raising $14,890, followed by Kathy McCraw, who raised $3,675, said Wagner, who also stated that Shanease Byers raised the most money of any youth, raising $401.
“We appreciate every team that participated, because it’s all going to the same cause,” Wagner said.
The rest of the money came from the other teams, individuals and from the various sponsors, added Wagner.
Co-organizer Pat Board said Friday night that the weather briefly “put a little damper” on the festivities. “But we’re back outside, and that’s what counts.”
Board noted that after the rain stopped, there was a double rainbow over the athletic field.
One of the new activities that took place was the 1,000 Steps For a Cure, which Wagner said she hopes will take root in the school system. Someone will walk a lap in honor or memory of someone, and children from Oak Grove Baptist Church decided to do that this year.
There were 12 teams that participated, and this year, more than 15 people were allowed on each team, a change from the previous years, said Wagner.