This year’s Relay for Life was a great success in Bell County over the weekend.
Middlesboro Mayor Bill Kelley and state Rep. Rick Nelson were in attendance to show their support in honoring the cancer survivors.
“The Relay for Life is a tremendous effort by a lot of people to bring awareness, and the money they raise will go for a cure,” said Nelson. “I’ve come every year and it’s a great event.”
The evening started off with the Opening Ceremony, where Kelley spoke. James Teaney gave the invocation, and the colors were presented by the Bell County JROTC.
“Cancer in the United States over the last few years has almost doubled, and in the state of Kentucky it has been more so,” said Kelley. “As all of us know we have one of the highest rates of cancer in the nation. There isn’t a family in Middlesboro including my own that hasn’t been touched by cancer. We are here together to support and raise money to find a cure.”
The awards for Paint the Town Purple were given out followed by the presentation of medals to the survivors. Then they all took the first lap of the night.
Each team sold different things with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society . The offerings ranged from homemade crafts, to milkshakes, to fried bologna sandwiches. Entertainment kicked off with the Pine Mountain Dancers, Chris Ellis performed and the RTR girls danced. The entertainment continued with The Nate Cornett Band and Jordan King.
Tim Short Dodge was this year’s leader in donations. They have given a percentage of every car sold to the Relay this year.
Throughout the night several activities were held such as MISSter Relay, with men from each team dressed as a woman and competing to raise the most money. The Hula Hoop contest was a crowd favorite. The evening finished with some karaoke followed by the closing ceremony.
The event was held at the Middlesboro Mall and celebrated 30 years of the American Cancer Society’s relay.
The community turned out and helped Bell County Relay for Life meet their fundraising goal and then some. This year’s goal was $48,000, they exceeded the goal and finished the night with $53,220.61.
The fundraising isn’t over, they will have a few more fundraisers between now and Aug. 31. Volunteers are still needed.
For more information about the Bell County Relay for Life contact Jessica Teaney at (606) 242-9179.
Reach William Tribell at (606) 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn