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Final total shows $165K from Relay
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Warren County Relay For Life has logged another successful year with an early total of $165,000 raised to benefit the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.
Relay faithful added another $57,000 at Nunley Stadium on Friday night to the $108,000 collected prior to the annual extravaganza.
Event chairman Dwight Burch commended the efforts and lauded the $1 million milestone achieved locally by Relay For Life in its ninth year.
As an example of how widespread the Relay phenomenon really is, Relay team members from as far away as Indiana and the Chicago/ Lafayette, Ill., area made their way to Warren County to join with their relatives in the local event. The Bouldin Friends and Family team, which included Maryann Schaper, Susie Bending and Jessica Spec, were on hand to support their family.
“We’ve had several family members affected,” said Schaper. “My mom, Helen Bouldin, was diagnosed with lung cancer in September and she was our cheerleader. We lost her March 7. My dad had passed away from another form of cancer. My niece is here and her husband has colon cancer, so it seems like it’s running in our family.”
Spec says she is a Relay veteran and made her way to McMinnville because she has family here.
“I think this is my sixth year doing Relay,” Spec said. “I think it’s very important. I started doing Relay where I live so I could join in the fight against cancer. This is where my grandparents are from and this is where my mom lives now.”
Schaper says plans are to make this family support reciprocal.
“They all drove down here to do this with us,” Schaper said. “And the goal is for some or all of us down here in Tennessee to go to their Relays. It’s very important to our family.”
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s biggest fundraiser and all of the funds collected support cancer research and patient services, like Hope Lodge in Nashville where cancer patients and their families within a 70-mile radius can stay rent-free during treatments or doctor visits. Last year, patients from Warren County spent over 170 nights there.
ACS community representative Marlene Delong says she is always impressed with the Warren County Relay For Life effort.
“It was amazing,” Delong said. “But it never ceases to amaze me. It seems like every year it just keeps getting better.”
Delong says the fact Warren County has raised over $1 million now is a testament to the county’s determination to find a cure.
“It’s unbelievable,” Delong said. “You have to think about it really hard to even comprehend.”
Burch says many teams begin their work for next year’s Relay almost before the tents are taken down and Nunley Stadium is returned to its duties as home of the Pioneers.
“The dedication of these Warren County teams is incredible,” Burch said. “It’s an honor to get to work with them.”