VINTON–The Vinton Relay for Life wrapped up their fundraising year for 2015 at the Vinton War Memorial on September 21.
Co-chairs Angie Chewning, Becky Collier, and Kim Barker thanked the volunteers who raised over $73,000 in donations during the year, not just at the official Relay at William Byrd High School held on May 1, but at events throughout the past year.
Twenty-nine teams registered with 204 participants for this year’s Relay.
According to the American Cancer Society, the “Relay for Life movement is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. It unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all. With the support of thousands of volunteers like you, the ACS is helping save more than 500 lives a day.”
Mark Hurley from the ACS told those in attendance that funds from the ACS have supported 48 researchers who have won the Nobel Prize, considered the highest accolade any scientist can receive–a tribute to the Society’s research program and its strength.
Courtney Baker, the new Community Manager for Relay for Life for the South Atlantic Division, joined the Vinton co-chairs in presenting awards to volunteers.
The top individual fundraiser award was presented to Gerald Simmons. He and his wife Carol also received the Team Hope fundraiser award for top fundraising team.
Special recognition awards were announced for the Clarence Pace Family and their continued generosity throughout the years. A Special Recognition Award was presented to “Roanoke’s Bravest,” the Roanoke City Fire Department which makes a significant contribution through the BBQ and hot dog dinners they prepare on the evening of the Relay event.
Grand Club awards went to Gerald Simmons, Don Williams, Carol Simmons, Melissa Hall, Melanie Wilmouth, Shirley Rice, Kathleen Sink, Suzanne Bell, and Elizabeth Kelly.
Rising Star awards were presented to teams from Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church, Roanoke’s Bravest, the Town of Vinton Strong Striders, Northside High School, and the Lancerlot Sports Complex.
A Bronze award was presented to the William Byrd High School “Service Learning for a Cure” team. Silver awards were given to Bob’s Restaurant and the Cancer Crusaders teams. The Flower Children and Battle at Byrd teams received Jade level awards. Team Hope received the Sapphire level award.
A host of sponsors were recognized for their contributions including Oakey’s Pet Funeral Home and Crematory, L.T. McGhee & Co., Viking Fence, the Town of Vinton, Roger L. Bishop Fine Jewelers, Oakey’s Funeral Home, Blue Ridge Dental Group, Simmons Insurance Agency, Fat Boys Wrecker Service, Wood’s Service Centers, BP Food Mart in Vinton, Ferguson Transfer and Storage, Parkway Veterinary Hospital, Yellow Cab Services of Roanoke, the Clarence Pace Family, Dairy Queen on Orange Avenue, the Vinton Bojangles, Lotz Funeral Home, dentist Kevin Greenway, W.C. Butler, dentist Zachary Law, Cato’s, Carilion Family Medicine of Vinton, New York Life Securities, LLC, Vinton Computer, R & R Automotive, Pat and Karen Simpson, McDonald’s of Vinton, Julian Ferguson and Associates, and Vincent R. Light Co.
Baker also announced that there is an ongoing division-wide fundraiser through October 3—the “Hope Lives Here Challenge,” which will provide a special challenge t-shirt to those who raise $50 by that date. More information is available by emailing email@example.com or by calling 540-774-2716.
The kick-off for the 2016 Relay will be held in January. Prayers were requested at the conclusion of the event for those faithful volunteers currently fighting the fight: Don Williams, Suzanne Bell, Gerald Simmons, the Clarence Pace family, and Betty T. Anderson.