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Jefferson County Relay once again exceeds goal

By Staff | Jun 28, 2019

Nikki and Madison Painter, members of Emma's Fairies team at the 2019 Jefferson County Relay for Life, pause in relaying at T. A. Lowerly Elementary School on Saturday evening. Toni Milbourne

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — In an ongoing effort to raise funds to battle the threat of cancer, 41 teams banded together to raise funds for the annual Jefferson County Relay for Life. Of those, 31 set up sites at T.A. Lowery Elementary School on Saturday evening for the all-night event.

The teams have been working for several months toward raising funds to total the county’s $100,000 goal and by the end of the Relay, they had surpassed that goal with total dollars collected to date at $122,540, according to event leader Heather Fauble.

The Relay, traditionally held at Jefferson High School, was relocated to T.A. Lowery because of ongoing repairs on Jefferson’s track. The change of venue did not dampen the spirits of those walking for a cure as they participated in specific laps including a Youth Lap led by the Youth Leadership Team, a Grand Club Lap recognizing those individuals who raised $1,000 or more, a pajama lap just after midnight and a Relay through the Decades lap where participants dressed in decade specific garb.

As per tradition, the Relay kicked off with a survivor recognition prior to the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. The Survivor Lap began just after comments from Honorary Survivor Sierra Godfrey. Also per tradition, luminaria were lit in honor and memory of those stilling battling cancer and those who lost their fight. Following the reading of each name, Relayers walked a silent lap around the track.

The top team for this year’s event was Hearts of Hope, which has raised $19,499. The top individual recognized at the event was Brenda Dailey who personally raised $8,937 for the cause. Dailey was the top fund raiser in 2018, and served as honorary chair for the Jefferson County Relay in 2017.

Throughout the night, contests and competitions had friendly battles going between team members. Hearts of Hope was recognized with the Spirit of Relay Award while Barb’s Blessings received top honors for the best campsite. Kave’s for a Kure sported the Best Team Flag and Pandas Who Care and Patriots for a Cure took kudos for School Spirit Stick elementary and secondary respectively.

Many walking at the Relay for Life were repeat participants, walking for various reasons. Often they walk in honor or memory of family members or friends who are battling cancer or who have lost their fight,

Madison Painter, 19, walked partly in memory of her friend, Emma, who passed away when the girls were just in fourth grade.

“The North Jefferson team is named in memory of her,” Painter said, mentioning the team, Emma’s Fairies, has about 15 members.

The team goal was $1,000, shared Painter’s mother, Nikki. Prior to the night’s event they team had surpassed that, raising $1,375. Fundraisers were also held during the evening and monies can continue to be collected through the end of August.

Helping increase the Emma’s Fairies team coffers was Painter’s father, David, who took top honors as Mr. Relay.

“He dressed up as a 70s basketball player,” Nikki said.

Donations for the overall event or any team specifically can still be made to teams on the Relay for Life website at Relayfor Life.org/JeffersonWV.