Brady’s Relay for Life day-long event sets precedent

Making history for the American Cancer Society’s nationwide Relay for Life wasn’t the goal local ACS members intended when they set out to prepare for Saturday’s annual event, but history it was, nonetheless. For the first time in ACS history, the event was primarily a day-long event. No other team in the state or nation has tried to accomplish that goal; however, early accounts are that the event will become a tradition for many communities to follow suit. By the end of the event, a total of $26,000 was recorded with more money expected to trickle in over the coming weeks. ‘A lot of people were a bit discouraged by the $26,000 tally,’ said Tammy West, event chairman, ‘but we raised $5,000 over what we raised during last year’s relay event, and that’s just awesome.’ Combined efforts between the relay, dinner, CNB bake sale and motorcycle rally, generated $30,000 for last year’s ACS contribution, with $9,000 raised from the dinner alone. This year, however, the only other major contribution to benefit this year’s funding was $2,000 from the annual community dinner. ‘We just didn’t have the number of events to pull in the extra money this year, but to raise what we did just from the relay itself is truly an accomplishment of which we can all be proud,’ said Mrs. West. ‘We had more teams, participation and tons more people out there because it was moved to a day-long event. There was a lot of positive feedback about the change in schedule this year, and it’s something that we’ll be looking at doing again with future relays. Technically, the relay has to be an overnight event, so that’s why we held it from 1 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday.’ The change in scheduling drew attention from other ACS Relay for Life committees who expressed an interest in adapting to the day- long event, as well. Participation was up this year according to Mrs. West’from 50 survivors last year to 72 this year and from 12 teams last year to 19 this year. Participating teams in this year’s relay were: Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital (three teams), Rochelle ISD (one team), Brady sixth grade girls (one team), Brady Elementary School (one team), Wal-Mart (one team), McCulloch County 4-H (three teams), Brady West Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (four teams), North Ward Elementary School (one team), Lohn community (one team), Brady Police Department, Fire Department and EMS (one team), McCulloch County Courthouse (one team) and FCCLA (one team). Over 1,000 luminarias were sold. Rita Neal, with one of the Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital teams, was acknowledged as the ‘top selling individual’ with $550. As a team effort, the hospital also raised the most money for the relay, generating over $4,700 in donations. The Rochelle Ranglers (Rochelle ISD) was honored for ‘best decorations,’ and the ‘most spirited’ award went to North Ward Elementary. Rochelle ISD Supt. Steve Butler, who delicately donned a red dress for the festivities, was honored as ‘most spirited individual.’ Plans are already underway to increase the number of fundraising events for next year’s ACS contribution.

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