Relay For Life teams celebrate campaign’s success

Relay For Life of Blount County team captains and committee members gathered to celebrate the success of the 2008 event, which surpassed a $375,000 fundraising goal and continues to generate donations.

After the 12-hour event on June 6 and 7 at Maryville College, contributions totaled $377,500, and Karen LaSorsa took home the title of Blount County Relay Idol.

To honor the diligent efforts of thousands of teams, volunteers, cancer survivors and supporters, the America Cancer Society hosted a wrap-up party on July 14, where Relay For Life co-chairs Rick and Cindy Shepard announced the new fundraising total is more than $382,000. They also said additional donations are expected until Relay For Life season ends, which is not until August.

“This year has been amazing. The Blount County community is very generous,” Rick Shepard said. “We could not continue to surpass our goal if it was not for the support of so many businesses and individuals in the community and the tireless efforts of so many team members and volunteers.”

To recognize achievements, Relay For Life awards were presented to outstanding teams and individuals during the wrap-up party sponsored by TGI Fridays restaurant.

Multiple Team Awards were presented to businesses that had more than one team participate in Relay For Life. Clayton Homes earned first place in this category, with 23 teams; Marriott Business Services placed second with 17 teams, and Blount Memorial Hospital was third with 10 teams.

Several outstanding fundraising awards were presented and divided up by division. Blount County Government stacked the top in the government division followed by the Alcoa Fire and Rescue Team then the City of Maryville.

In the small business category, Cate-Russell Insurance placed first, East Tennessee Medical Group earned second, and CBBC bank was third. For the large business division, Vulcan Materials received first place with Mountain National Bank in second and Clayton Homes in third.

In the school division, Team Debbie from Walland Elementary School received top marks, Porter Elementary School scored second and John Sevier Elementary School placed third.

In the Church Division, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church placed first, Logan’s Chapel United Methodist Church placed second, and St. Paul AME Zion finished third.

In the Miscellaneous Division, Tennessee Urology Associates placed first, Sundance Kids placed second, and USWA Local 309 placed third.

The Overall Outstanding Team Award went to Tennessee Urology Associates, who raised $12,200; while the Outstanding Individual Fundraising Award was given to Scott Tate with the Cate-Russell Insurance Team for raising more than $3,000 solely on his own.

Blount County Friends was named Rookie Team of the Year, which is given to an outstanding first-year Relay For Life team.

Freedom Fighters of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church earned first place in the Team Spirit Award category followed by St. Marks United Methodist Church. Third place was shared by the Blount County, Alcoa and Maryville fire departments.

The Best Campsite Award was given to Marriott Business Services for its interactive casino-themed campsite. Second place went to Blount Memorial Hospital, and Cate-Russell Insurance reeled in third place.

The Best Food/Concession Award was given to Tennessee Walkers for their outstanding BBQ. The Wal-Mart Alcoa team with their fruit plate ranked second, and the Blount County Government and the ever popular fried Twinkies placed third.

For going above and beyond her committee responsibilities as treasurer, Linda Whitehead with First National Bank was presented with the Committee Achievement Award.

Special recognition was also given to Relay for Life of Blount County’s major sponsors, which included Alcoa, B97.5, Blount Memorial Hospital, Clayton, Joseph Construction, Maryville College, Sanford Brands, The Daily Times, Vulcan Materials Company and WATE-6.

Relay For Life is an annual overnight community event that benefits the American Cancer Society, cancer education and cancer research. For more information about Relay For Life or the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-ACS-2345, or visit

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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