06/22/12 — Banquet celebrates Relay

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Banquet celebrates Relay

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 22, 2012 1:46 PM

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Ethel Barnes holds a sign displaying the total amount of money raised by Relay for Life in Wayne County during the Relay For Life banquet Thursday at Wayne Memorial Hospital. The annual event brings together each Relay for Life group in the county to celebrate a successful year. The evening's events featured the handing out of awards ranging from Most Money Raised by a Church to individual Spirit awards.

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Sue Hill accepts the Individual Spirit Award during the Relay For Life Banquet Thursday at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Ethel Barnes smiled as she unfolded a large piece of paper -- revealing, to the dozens who gathered in the Wayne Memorial Hospital cafeteria Thursday evening, a six-figure sum.

"Thank you Wayne County," she said, looking down at the number. "We are No. 1."

The crowd cheered.

Each knew just how much effort it took to ensure that by the annual Relay for Life Awards Banquet, the event had raised more than $430,000.

So it didn't matter that they fell short of the $500,000 goal organizers set at the kick-off event held months before thousands came together at the Wayne County Fairgrounds to honor those fighting -- and those who have lost their battles with -- cancer.

"It's how you get where you get that's important," Mrs. Barnes said.

Co-chair Debbie Pennell seemed to agree.

"That's a lot of money," she said. "It sure is."

But unveiling the amount raised during this year's campaign was not the only purpose behind last night's banquet.

There were people and teams to honor -- longtime Relay friends to say goodbye to.

The following awards were handed out Thursday evening:

Campsite Awards

*Schools -- Grantham School

*Churches -- Garris Chapel United Methodist Church

*Misc./Business -- M&M Cancer Survivors

*Health care -- Wayne Memorial Hospital

*Top Overall -- Eastern Wayne Elementary "Walker's For Life"

Top Money Awards

*Pine Forest United Methodist Church, $30,339.66

*Handy Mart, $30,060.75

*Wayne Memorial Hospital, $27,881.76

Most Money

by Category

*Schools -- Grantham School, $10,000

*Churches -- Pine Forest United Methodist Church, $30,339.66

*Miscellaneous -- The Rainbow Crusaders, $8,226

*Business -- Handy Mart, $30,060.75

*Health care -- Wayne Memorial Hospital, $27,881.76

*Military -- The Bella Babes, $6,967.50

Special Award

*Nikki Veilleux