06/21/13 — Adams honored at Relay for Life wrap-up ceremony

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Adams honored at Relay for Life wrap-up ceremony

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 21, 2013 1:46 PM

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Hilda Hill, left, of the M&M Cancer Survivors team, received the first Doc Adams Spirit Award from Dr. Lee Adams. Adams, right, was one of the original organizers of the Relay For Life in Wayne County.


Since Relay for Life was introduced in Wayne County in 1990, Dr. Lee Adams has become synonymous with the annual event to raise money for cancer.

So it is only fitting that his name continue to be connected to the spirit of the cause.

On Thursday evening, at a wrap-up and awards ceremony at Wayne Memorial Hospital, the 87-year-old retired eye doctor was recognized for his tireless efforts.

"This year the committee decided to rename the Spirit Award to the Doc Adams Spirit Award. Doc is and always will be the heart of the Wayne County Relay," said Susan Sutton, a co-chair of the event.

Adams got to hold the plaque bearing his name only briefly, but was evidently moved by the acknowledgment and even more so when he learned who the first recipient would be -- M&M Cancer Survivors.

Hilda Hill, co-captain of that Relay team, comprised of cancer survivors, came forward to accept the award.

"I don't know how many years it's been a team, 10 or 15," she said. "And I'm a 30-year survivor."

"I'm so glad that this lady got the first one," Adams said later. "We're buddies."

The evening was all about recognizing those who contributed to the success of this year's Relay for Life, held at the fairgrounds May 10, and presenting the latest figures for the fundraiser.

Ethel Barnes, another co-chair, said the total brought in to date is $406,656.

But that is not the last word on the latest chapter of Relay, said Brenda Robinson, executive committee board chair.

"We're still collecting money until Aug. 31," she said. "We switch over Sept. 1 for the beginning of our 2014 event. We have still got money coming in.

"Our goal was $425,000. ACS (American Cancer Society) set our goal at $425,000. Our personal goal was $450,000."

Another coveted award presented at the banquet was the bow award, which Ms. Sutton explained had been created in memory of Meredith Stancil, who died of cancer in 2004.

"She's the reason I Relay," Ms. Sutton said. "I just wanted to do something special to honor her and have people to remember how hard she worked for Relay."

Every year whoever sells the most Relay bows gets to take home the banner and display to for a year, she said, taking a good-natured jab at the previous year's winner, "Miss Grantham School," Sue Hood Hill. Ms. Sutton hinted that Mrs. Hill she hadn't exactly returned it in a timely manner, but managed to get it to her in time for the awards ceremony.

It soon became apparent why, as the Grantham team was again announced the winner of the award.

"They sold $2,120 worth of bows," Ms. Sutton said, or 210 bows. "Grantham School has won it every time."

When someone from the audience asked who had done all the work making bows, Mrs. Hill replied, "I pulled most of them but thank Jesus, Kelli learned how to do them."

Kelli Jones, she explained afterward, was president of the Relay Club at the school for the past two years and will be greatly missed in the fall when she becomes a freshman at Southern Wayne High School.

The following were the other top awards presented:

Campsite awards

1st Place -- Purtty Team

2nd Place -- T.A. Loving

3rd Place -- Garris Chapel Church

Top Money Awards

1st Place -- Handy Mart/Pope, $28,371,45

2nd Place -- Pine Forest UMC, $23,194.35

3rd Place -- Strickland Insurance Group, $15,587.40

Rookie of the Year -- Jackson and Sons, $7,230.19

Above and Beyond -- Lisa Grant

Impact Award -- The Bella Babes.