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Relay raises $28K

Survivors, their caregivers and family members join in the “Survivor Lap” to kick off Friday’s Relay For Life at Tom Byrne Park.

Survivors, their caregivers and family members join in the “Survivor Lap” to kick off Friday’s Relay For Life at Tom Byrne Park.

Atmore’s 2014 Relay For Life raised more than $28,000 for cancer research and prevention, and the money is still coming in, organizers say.

Julie Ray, co-chair of the local Relay For Life committee, said that Atmore’s Relay had raised $28,702.03 as of Friday night. However, that total does not include the proceeds from last Monday’s Celebrity Waiter Dinner and other Relay-related events.

“It’s good to see the community come out and support this event each year,” Ray said. “This is a disease that affects nearly every one of us. Just about everyone knows a friend or family member who has battled cancer.”

There were six teams who participated in this year’s Relay — Atmore Community Hospital, Atmore Nursing Center, Walgreen’s/VFW Post 7016 Women’s Auxiliary, United Bank, Johnson Ford and Atmore News. In addition, a team from First National Bank & Trust organized the Celebrity Waiter Dinner held Monday, April 21.

Ray said that this year’s event theme of “Carnival for a Cure” was popular, and the teams did a great job of decorating and utilizing the theme.

“We had a large number of kids who came out and played the carnival games,” she said. “Everyone had a great time.”

Early Friday evening, a special reception was held for cancer survivors. Each survivor received a T-shirt and pin, and then participated in the inaugural “Survivor Lap” to kick off the night’s Relay.

Cindy Lee of Atmore Nursing Center, which sponsored the survivors’ reception, said there were more than 40 survivors who participated. Each survivor stated their name, the type of cancer they overcame, and how long they had been cancer-free.

There were several awards handed out for the teams, including:

• Best Cancer Facts — Walgreen’s/VFW Auxiliary.

• Spirit Stick — United Bank.

• Best Team Song — Atmore Community Hospital.

• Best Campsite — Atmore Nursing Center.

• Best Spirit Award — Walgreen’s/VFW Auxiliary.

• Golden Pillowcase Award (presented to the team with the most participants still in attendance at the midnight conclusion) — Walgreen’s/VFW Auxiliary.

• Volunteer of the Year — Samantha Bennett.

This year’s title sponsor was the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.