Crenshaw County #8216;rolls#039; past #036;80K for Relay for Life

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

After &#8220Rocking and Rolling for a Cure,” the 2007 Crenshaw County Relay for Life rolled right past its goal of $80,000 and brought in a total of $83,812.39 for the American Cancer Society with 14 teams participating.

&#8220The crowd was great, and we had more survivors involved this year than last year,” Kay Franklin, community representative with The American Cancer Society, said. &#8220We even had a lot of people to come out just to see what Relay was all about, and several decided that they wanted to participate next year, which is great.”

The Crenshaw County Relay for Life was held at E.L. Turner Park last Friday night.

Franklin said that approximately $79,500 was raised in 2006.

This year, the Highest Individual Fundraiser award went to Edna Ruth Norsworthy, who raised $2,838. She has received this award for five years in a row.

&#8220I have had some people to ask me how I do it, and I tell them, ‘How can you not do it?'” she said.

Norsworthy said that she sends out about 250 letters to family members and friends, and she receives donations of anywhere from $1 to even $300.

&#8220I do this in memory of our Luverne High School classmates of 1947, Mary Alice Holland and Irene Turner,” she said. &#8220I also do this in honor of my classmate Gerald Curtis, who is a cancer survivor.”

Franklin said that Team HOPE won the Spirit of Relay award, and the Most Money Raised Per-Capita was awarded to South Luverne Baptist Church, with an average of $495.42 per team member. The Most Money Raised award went to S.M.A.R.T. Alabama, LLC for their $15,113.93.

The Most Money Raised Online award went to Highland Home School. HHS brought in a total of $11,604, with $205 of that being raised online. This was the first year that money was raised online.

Centenary Baptist Church won the volleyball tournament during the evening with Team HOPE coming in second place.

S.M.A.R.T. Alabama, LLC also won the banner competition.

In the food competition, Team HOPE won first place, the Brantley Front Porch Rockers placed second, and S.M.A.R.T. placed third.

Crenshaw Community Hospital won the Musical Chairs competition. Team HOPE came in first in the &#8220Mummy Wrap” competition.

For the egg throwing contest, SLBC placed first, and Team HOPE placed second.

The Brantley Front Porch Rockers surpassed their goal of $3,000 by raising $5,532, with Brantley High School donating a $500 check to the team.

&#8220Different churches in Brantley have participated in the past, but this is the first time we have had a community-wide team to participate in several years,” Brantley Front Porch Rockers' team member Jo Ann Ware said.

Their team captain was Bernice Sorrells.

&#8220I think the community really outdid itself again this year,” Crenshaw County Relay for Life Committee member Cathy Wilkes said. &#8220The crowd was large, and many people participated in the theme laps. The favorite theme laps seemed to be the ‘Crazy Hats' and the poker laps. A lot of people also learned several new facts about this disease during the ‘Cancer Awareness Trivia' laps.”

Rev. Ken Jackson, pastor of Luverne United Methodist Church, was on hand for the night's events.

&#8220It was a good night,” he said. &#8220However, it was difficult as the names were called out of people I have known and loved who have lost their lives to cancer.”

Jackson is referring to the solemn &#8220Luminaria Ceremony,” where all of the lights are turned off, and only the glow of candle-lit bags remains as everyone who has lost a loved one to cancer or who is a cancer survivor gathers around the track to listen as the names are called out one by one.

The special ceremony left many in tears and hugging one another afterwards.

Mr. Joe Russell of Luverne has not missed a Relay for Life in Crenshaw County since it began. However, he was not able to make Friday night's event because of recent surgery.

&#8220I hate that I was not able to be there,” Russell said. &#8220I missed not being able to ride around the track on my electric scooter.”

Russell has been a cancer survivor for 16 years.

&#8220I just love being out there,” he added. &#8220It's the peopleŠthat's what I really missed- the people.”

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Bobby Tomberlin from Nashville, Tenn., and singer/songwriter Candi Carpenter. Scott Fowler and Soldiers for the Cross also entertained the large crowd, while Daryll Elliott, the DJ from Hot 105, served as the emcee for the night.

Tomberlin, Carpenter, Scott Fowler and Soldiers for the Cross and Kyle Richburg were among those who provided entertainment at the Crenshaw County Relay for Life Low Country Boil held at the Tom Harbin Ag Center last Thursday evening.

The county-wide fundraiser provided entertainment and an all-you-can-eat buffet of delicious boiled shrimp, whole potatoes and onions, sausage, corn on the cob and dessert.