Buffalo Island volunteers attend state Rally

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Buffalo Island Relay for Life recently attended the state relay rally held in Jonesboro. Those attending from Buffalo Island were Janis Edgin, Phyllis Kennett, Ruth Keith, Karen Wallace, Brenda Matheny and BI Chairman Shelia Spurlock

In addition to attending the rally, the Nifty Fifties' Group, that became "famous" with their performances during the local Relay for Life activities, performed at the state rally. Members of the Nifty Fifties' Group include Spurlock, Wallace, Matheny, Keith and Kennett.

The 2003 state Rally was held at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Oct. 25.

The day long event included several sessions including sponsorship, team recruitment, fundraising, luminaries, survivors, entertainment activities, publicity/advocacy, and logistics.

Michelle rushing led the training session for Relay Chairs. Dennis Cooper served as Master of Ceremonies. The theme for the event was "Volunteers are the heart of Relay."

The Nifty Fifties' performed, dressed in the 50's, with poodle skirts, Bobby socks, tennis shoes and pink hair bows, "My Boyfriend's Back." The Buffalo Island group received a standing ovation for their performance.

Later in the day, the group changed costumes, dressed as men and performed "Tossin' and Turning, and playing their horns.

Eleven counties were represented at the rally including Greene, Craighead, St. Francis, Clay, Randolph, Sharp, Mississippi and Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Poinsett, Lawrence and Jackson.

The Buffalo Island relay for Life had two teams that received awards for their outstanding job for the Relay. The Miller family with team captain Moba Lee Miller from Leachville and Mt. Pleasant General Baptist Church of Monette with Mike Matheny team captain were in the over $5,000 teams.

Each volunteer present received a Relay folder with paper, Relay pen and information, Relay tote bag, and a bag of Friendship jelly beans.

Jackie Wallis of Jonesboro and Michelle Rushing of Paragould were in charge of the "ice breaker" games. The Price is Right Game was a big hit with the group.

Brenda Matheny of Leachville won the door prize.

The closing ceremony consisted of lighting candles. Volunteers placed names on cards and lit individual candles in honor of or in memory of someone very special to each one of them.

Volunteers also received a pink bow in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The bows were made by Jonesboro Flowers and Gifts.

In closing, Martha Smith, Representative for the American Cancer Society, thanked everyone for their hard work and for attending the state rally.

Each one present received a bag of Friendship jelly beans with the meaning of each color:

Pink -- is for giving so generously, and for always being there for me.

Yellow -- is for memories of laughter and tears that shine undimmed throughout the years.

Purple -- is for sharing the deepest parts of the cherished dreams within our hearts.

Green is for helping me to row in more ways than you'll ever know.

Blue -- is for loyalty, tried and true, knowing that I can count on you.

"I thank God for the gifts our friendship holds. Most of all, for your Hearts of God!!

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