Relay takes on cancer

Published 1:00 am Sunday, May 1, 2011

Taking part in Relay For Life Friday evening are cancer survivors (from left) Archie Brakers, Maria Duke and Joyce Jones. The fundraiser took place at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Relay For Life raised at least $131,573 to help fight cancer.

The event took place from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon at Washington High School.

This fundraiser had a goal of $171,000, and all of the donations hadn’t been tallied as of late Saturday afternoon.

Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

More than 300 cancer survivors took the “Survivors Lap,” the first leg of the all-night walk-a-thon, said Lisa Alligood, Relay chairwoman.

Twenty-six teams took part over a 24-hour period, Alligood related.

These teams sought donations for Relay ahead of Friday’s opening ceremonies, and some volunteers solicited funds during the walk.

Alligood, Beaufort County’s Relay chairwoman for six years, has had personal experience with cancer.

She lost her parents, Nancy Griffin and Lindy Hales, to the disease.

Her mother also took part in the event before she passed away.

“It’s just trying to find a cure,” Alligood said, adding Relay walkers’ motto is, “Cancer doesn’t sleep and neither do we.”

Donors may contribute to this year’s Relay drive through July 31.

Donations should be mailed care of Alligood to 7581 Broad Creek Road, Washington, NC 27889.

Among the cancer survivors participating Friday were Archie Brakers, Maria Duke and Joyce Jones.

“This is a community thing,” said Brakers.

These ladies are members of a cancer support group called Bosom Buddies.

“We’ve got a good group of ladies,” said Duke, chairwoman of Bosom Buddies.

The group’s meetings average 10 to 12 attendees, though there are more affiliated women who aren’t always able to attend, she said.

“We’re friends, not just a support group,” Duke shared.

Jones is the group’s Relay team captain, and has been for 14 years.

She marveled at how generous givers were despite the troubled economy.

“In times like these it’s amazing to see how good people are,” she said.

Bosom Buddies ended Relay as the top fundraising team.