Jefferson County Relay for Life earns national recognition
SHEPHERDSTOWN – The Jefferson County Relay for Life officially kicked off their fundraising season on Saturday, with an event at the Charles Town Baptist Church.
At the event, 16 teams joined to offer a variety of fundraising activities, to begin reaching their goals for the 2019 Relay season. In addition, the Relay committee hosted a chili and macaroni and cheese cookoff.
What the organizers were not aware of, was that the Jefferson County Relay for Life was to be recognized by the American Cancer Society for finishing in the top five Relays nationwide for 2018.
According to Event Coordinator Heather Fauble, the county received a banner to recognize their fundraising status for the previous year. Those in attendance Saturday found out about the honor, during the closing ceremony of the day.
Fauble offered words of encouragement to all of the teams and guests supporting the teams during the event’s opening ceremony. She also took the opportunity to introduce the 2019 Honorary Chair of the Relay, Sierra Godfrey.
Many teams involved in Saturday’s event are return participants and familiar with how Relay works. Barb’s Blessings and Hearts of Hope, the county’s two top fundraising teams, both had tables with raffles set up, as they worked tirelessly to help raise funds to support research to eradicate cancer.
Another team, not so experienced, but just as excited about being involved, was the Jefferson High School Interact Club. Club sponsor Angie Hill said the club members want to be involved in their community.
“Interact is all about service, service above self,” Hill said. “This involvement is good, not only for the recipient, but also for the giver.”
Abdiel Gonzalez, a senior at Jefferson High School and president of the Interact Club, said he joined Interact for a closer connection to community events.
“I hope to help bring a good premise to all in need,” Gonzalez said. “I also hope to raise awareness and bring more students to help spread the motivation of service.”
Shepherdstown’s Kerrigan Ranshaw, a junior at Jefferson High and the student chair for the Relay team, is excited to be involved.
“I joined Interact to get out into the community, and Relay gets us out there,” Ranshaw said.
Hill, mirroring the student’s dedication, said the club wants to surpass any amount raised at Jefferson High School in the past.
“Our goal is $1,000,” Hill said. “With 1,400 students and 125 teachers, we should be able to reach that.”
According to Hill, the student team plans to have an ongoing basket raffle every month, as well as plan some teacher lunches and a car wash/bake sale.
“We raised approximately $500 through the cookoff,” Fauble said following the event. “Each of the 16 teams also raised funds.”
In the cookoff, six individuals entered macaroni and cheese dishes, with Jim Stull taking the top prize. Of the eight chili entries, Anna Spofford won for the best traditional chili, while Ginger Stanley was the spicy chili victor and Brenda Dailey won for her entry in the unique category.
Each winner received a custom trophy for their efforts, as well as a gift card.
The Jefferson County Relay for Life will take place at Jefferson High School on June 22 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. More information can be found at www.relay.acsevents.org.