CARROLLTON – Rain did not deter the 2018 Relay for Life Event May 19 at the Carroll County Fairgrounds.
The event was moved under the grandstand due to the weather conditions for a period of time. “We didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits,” said Wendy Rainsberger, co-lead chair of the event. “When it was nice, people went outside and walked their laps while the kids had fun splashing in puddles.”
Opening ceremonies began at noon with the presentation of the flag by Amsterdam VFW Post 232 and Carrollton VFW Post 3301. Desarae Gorney read the poem “Honor, Remember and Fight Back” and an invocation was presented by Mark Wells.
Mike Gallina was the motivational speaker who got the crowd ready to Relay. The ribbon was cut by Relay King Dave Rainsberger and Queen Linda Shotwell. Survivors and caregivers walked the opening lap, followed by team introductions and laps. Five teams were on site: CNB Lifestriders, Discount Drug Mart, McCook Bowling Association, Wings of Hope and Team Super Cooper.
Midway thru the event, Rikki Batson, American Cancer Society (ACS) staff partner, informed the committee Carrollton Relay had hit the $1-million mark. An announcement was made for all to hear that during the 20th year, the million dollar mark was reached.
“A big thanks goes out to all who have ever been involved with Relay and helped reach this milestone,” Rainsberger stated.
A cake donated by Ulman’s Bakery and ice cream were served by the Masons of Carroll Lodge #124 to celebrate Carrollton Relay’s 20th anniversary.
A health fair was held during the day under the grandstand, along with performances by Valley Voices Women’s Barbershop Chorus, CHS Showstoppers and Pound (a health & fitness group).
Relayers participated in bingo with Kathy Horn serving as caller. Walkers listened to music provided by Chad Russell and Jerry Bourquin.
The Luminaria Ceremony began with a poem reading followed by a speech by Gorney and prayer and reading of the names in memory, honor and support of by Wells. Calvin Graham played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes during the silent lap.
A concession stand was manned by ladies from Total Women’s Care, Inc, The Knights of Columbus, The Order of Eastern Star #315, 4-H Pioneer Saddle Club and relay team members.
To date, Relay for Life of Carroll County has raised $31,000. Teams continue fund raising through August.
Two fundraisers are scheduled: Aug. 18 – Bark For Life from 7-10 p.m. at Atwood Lake beach; and Sept. 23 – Loudon Motors Ford Drive. For every valid test drive Ford will donate $20 to Relay For Life of Carroll County, up to $6,000.
Prior to opening ceremonies, a survivor breakfast was served in the Carroll County Senior Friendship Center. Each survivor was given a purse and or dog bone pillow from the sewing committee, spearheaded by Ashley Harvey. Old survivor shirts were repurposed to make the purses and pillows.