The 20th annual Grayson County Relay for Life fought through chances of storms on Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21.
Grayson County Relay for Life Event Chair Rose Mary Goins gave the official welcome to the 2014 event at 7 p.m. on Friday and introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Dawn Blanford, a cancer survivor who works for Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC).
Blanford, who has three children with her husband, Scott, said she was diagnosed with Stage Three Colon Cancer in August of 2010.
In January of 2011, Dawn Blanford underwent a Sub Total Collectomy, which led to many subsequent hospital trips and trying times for her and her loved ones; however, she prefers to talk about the positives in her life rather than “what cancer took” from her.
“I won’t let cancer define me,” said Dawn Blanford, who, during her struggle with her disease, found it best to try to carry on with her routine as much as possible, to try to stay healthy and active, and become involved in the cause of fighting cancer.
She went on to say how thankful she is for her loved ones, the caregivers who supported her during her fight with cancer, and for the opportunity she has been given to carry on living.
“Remember each day is truly a gift,” Dawn Blanford said. “Do not let cancer teach you this lesson.”
Following Dawn Blanford’s speech, pens and medallions were presented to the attending cancer survivors, who then lined up and made the inaugural walk around the Grayson County Middle School track.
2014 marked the first year medallions were presented to cancer survivors, thanks in part to Magistrate and cancer survivor Bill Skaggs who requested that the Grayson County Fiscal Court donate the money to purchase the medallions.
On the second lap, the survivors were joined by their caregivers, who were also recognized during the event.
As of 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Grayson County Relay representatives reported a total of $87,458.41 had been raised.
Co-Event Chair Margie Decker said Relay officials were satisfied with the funds raised this year, but numbers and interest in the event as a whole were down.
Decker said she feels that part of the lower figures may be a result of the storms and the poor economy, but she also worries the event may have become stale.
“People weren’t as interested [this year,” she said.
Decker said she would like to go with the other Grayson County Relay for Life officials to meet with the individuals in charge of the Relay as a whole and discuss ways to “revamp” the event to reignite interest.
Awards were presented to participating teams in the Grayson County Relay for Life. Team awards were given as follows:
Best Theme: Cross Point Church: “Picture This, a World Without Cancer.”
Best Decorated Site: Leitchfield United Methodist Church - Bible Buccaneers.
Most Spirit: TLRMC.
Most Money Raised by a Team: Walmart.
Most Money Raised by a Company: Walmart - $12,000; Hometown IGA - $9,582; Bel Brands - $7,155.
Most Money Raised by an Individual: Pearlie Mae York - $9,500.
Most Money Raised by a Non-Profit: Caneyville and Short Creek Cumberland.
Presbyterian Churches: $5,751.
Leitchfield United Baptist: $4,840.
Most Money Raised by a Family: Carroll Family - $6,270.
Most Luminaria Sold by a Team: TLRMC - $670.