Relay for Life teams keep at it

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Tyson Firecrackers mascot, a more than seven-foot-tall inflatable chicken, is pictured here near the hearts decorated in memory of those who have lost the battle to cancer and a team whose theme was "a wonderland without cancer."

CARROLL COUNTY -- Although the Relay for Life was in May, the numerous teams involved have never stopped working to prepare for next years event and goals.

The Tyson team, the "Firecrackers," raised more than $97,000 for this year's relay and was back to work immediately after, trying to find a way to surpass their goal of $100,000, said Keisha Pittman, the area director for the Mid-Sotuth division of the American Cancer Society.

The Carroll County Tyson relay team is one of the top teams in the state, and is expecting to receive some recognition or be classified as the top team once all the teams turn in their numbers and the official counts are released near the end of September, said Pittman.

"We do relay all year long in Carroll County," said Rebecca Palmer, co-chair for Relay for Life committee and co-captain of the Tyson team. "We have small payroll deductions and auctions. They do bake sales and just a lot of little things that make up a lot of money. We also have pie-in-the-face and kiss the pig, where the one who raises the most money gets to see their boss kiss a pig."

The teams are now working on a penny challenge, Palmer said. They will collect as many pennies as they possible can and turn them in to be counted at the next team captains meeting on Sept. 26. The winning team will receive $1,000 in "Relay Bucks," which is added to their net earnings for the cause.

This year's relay brought in a total of $130,081 from all teams, including Carroll Electric, which raised $8,199, and the First National Bank of Green Forest, which raised $5,320. All funds go to the American Cancer Society to help further research for a cure.

The Arvest team is just as dedicated to year-round fundraising as any other team on the list. Their fiscal fundraising year starts in Sept. 1 and ends the following year on Aug. 31.

"The way that we get most of our funds is we sell the T-shirts for American Cancer Society," said Ashley Robbins, co-chair for the relay for life committee and member of the Arvest team. "We have sold more than 300 T-shirts since last year. Right now, that is our big thing; there will be a few other things coming up in the spring."

The Relay for Life committee is in the initial planning stages of starting a poker run, bike rally and classic car show for next spring, Robbins wrote to the other teams' captains in an email.

She also mentioned that they are putting together a superhero-themed 5K walk/run in Green Forest on Oct. 19, but no details other than the date and location have been set in stone.

Next year's relay will be May 2 at the Green Forest City Park. The Berryville Community Center is the alternate location in case of bad weather, Palmer said.

The theme for the next relay is the great outdoors, so attendees will see booths or events such as fishing or hunting for a cure or even biking and hiking for a cure. The ideas are only limited by relevancy to the theme and the imaginations of the team members.

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