Carroll County's Relay for Life earns national props, was in top ten in U.S. last year

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Ashley Robbins and Debbie Norris show off the awards that Carroll County Relay for Life organizers have just received from the national organization after the local event last year ranked in the top ten nationally for per-capita fundraising. Photo submitted

CARROLL COUNTY -- Local volunteers and supporters of Relay for Life have won national recognition for their efforts to raise funds for and promote awareness of the fight against cancer.

Carroll County ranked in the top ten nationally last year for funds raised per capita among communities of comparable size. The county was also recognized in the American Cancer Society's Mid-South Division, which includes Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

All told, local volunteers raised $145,783. The bulk of that amount -- $101,695 -- was raised by the Tyson Firecrackers team, which was individually recognized this year as a "Team of Excellence," a distinction reserved for teams that raise at least $50,000.

Becky Palmer, co-captain of the Firecrackers, said she was grateful to work for a company that supported its employees' charitable endeavors. She added that the secret of her team's success was their "dedication, hardwork, passion and the knowledge that (they could) really make a difference."

In addition to these distinctions, Carroll County also earned the title of an All-American event. To do so, event organizers had to meet national Relay for Life standards -- including showing overall growth, successful development implementation, proper signage and branding, and diversity. Ashley Robbins, co-chair of this year's event, said she was "shocked and honored" by the news.

"Theresa Hamilton really led our committee last year to work hard and empowered our teams to Relay strong," she said. "This shows we are not just making an impact here in Arkansas, but across the nation."

Keisha Pittman, area director for the American Cancer Society, agreed.

"The great Relay volunteers in Carroll County have definitely shown the nation that Northwest Arkansas is committed to making a difference in their local community," she said. "The volunteer leadership in this community has clearly made a challenge to every citizen ... to not finish until there is a cure."

The American Cancer Society is committed to fighting cancer on every front -- through advocacy, educational programs that promote prevention and early detection, resources that support patients and caregivers, and research to develop new treatments and -- hopefully -- cures.

The 2013 Relay For Life of Carroll County is scheduled for May 3 at the Berryville High School track. Teams are currently being formed. To learn more about building a team, call 479-246-0002, or email Pittman at

For additional information on the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit

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