Relay kicks off with Thursday luncheon
Published 9:04 am Sunday, February 24, 2002
By By ROBBIE BYRD
Relay for Life is officially underway in Atmore.
The kickoff was celebrated with a luncheon Thursday at the Atmore Lions Community Center catered by David's Catfish House.
Over 200 people were in attendance to hear a recap of last years record-breaking year and to hear plans for an even bigger Relay this year.
Accoding to Judy Pylate, chairperson of Atmore's Relay, the goal for 2001 was $85,000. That goal was exceeded by $36,721, bringing the total collected, after expenses, to $121,721.
That money was used by the American Cancer Society for education, research, advocacy and service in the fight against cancer.
This years goal is $140,000.
So far, 15 teams have committed to the 2002 Relay for Life program, including: Alabama Power, Swift Supply, Pepsi of Atmore, Southern Computer, James Wilson Christian Bookstore, First National Bank, Atmore Community Hospital, Atmore Nursing Care Center, David's Catfish, Escambia County High School, the Boatwright family, Frontier Communications, Tracy Miller and family, Alto and The Atmore Advance. Other teams are expected to announce their participation soon.
While somewhat short of this years goal of 22 teams, Pylate said they still will reach their goal.
Last year, six teams raised over $10,000, and 2 individuals raised $5,000 or more.
Escambia County's Relay also achieved the honor of being the top seventh group in the nation and the top fifth group in the region, with a per-capita donation average of $5.0268.
Pylate said while Relay for Life is fun for many, it must also be taken very seriously.
"Today more than 1,500 people in the US will die of cancer and 3,300 will be told they have this disease," Pylate said. "One in three women will have cancer, as well as one in two men. That's reason enough for me to do this."
Jim Byrd with Southern Pine Electric Cooperative spoke to the group concerning his companies commitment to Relay for Life.
"We have a commitment to the communities where we live and serve," Byrd said. "This means we want to be a part of the community and to help reach our goal of defeating cancer."
Helping to reach that goal are this years Relay committee: Pylate, chairperson; Rusty Miller, co-chair and logistics; Robin Byrd, according to Pylate her "right-hand-gal"; Barbara Nemeth, survivorship chair; Ronnie Huskey, sponsorship chair; Wanda Hall, accounting; Kitty Day, team recruitment; Sandra Johnson, luminaria chair; Vicky Fayard, entertainment and Myrna Monroe and Sherry Digmon, publicity.
This years theme is United for a Cure. The Advance will list upcoming events as soon as they are announced.