Buffalo Island Relay for Life raises $29,517

Thursday, September 30, 2004
Shelia Spurlock (left) 2004 Honorary Survivor for the BI Relay for Life, looks on as Survivorship Chairman Jennie Fleeman lights four candles -- one for Spurlock, one for hope, one for progress and one for answers.

"Aloha to Cancer" was the theme for the third annual American Cancer 2004 Buffalo Island Relay for Life. Thanks to several months of fundraising and the all night event on Friday, the area group raised $29,516.94.

Throughout the campaign individual teams sponsored events including golf tournaments, softball tournaments, bake sales, motorcycle rides, raffles, road blocks, singings, barbecues, shows, and many other events. Area towns, organizations, businesses and individuals also served as sponsors for the event making generous donations.

"We appreciate each and every one that took part," committee member Brenda Matheny said.

The event was held at the Leachville City Park with booths, games, and entertainment throughout the night.

This year's honorary survivor was Shelia Spurlock.

Cancer survivors were recognized as a family member or friend introduced each one before they took the victory lap. Survivor chairman Jennie Fleeman lit four candles for Shelia, hope progress and answers.

The survivors made the first lap around the track and were then joined by family and friends on the second round. Team members walked the track that was lit by luminaries (in honor or memory of cancer survivors or those that had lost their battle to cancer).

Sharon Hitt sang "God On A Mountain," and "Go Light Your World" was sung by Ron Moad.

The invocation was given by Randy Rose. Memory luminaries were read by Leachville Mayor Ralph Wells and Survivor luminaries were read by Byron Sparkman.

Teams included the Leachville Assembly of God; The Nifty 50's; Southern Bank of Commerce: Leachville Police, Fire and Firs Responders; Leachville Church of Christ; Heritage Bank; Second Baptist Church in Leachville; Leachville P.O.; Black Oak Church of Christ; Buffalo Island Junior High Cheerleaders; Leachville First Baptist Youth.

Southern Bank of Commerce was the Spirit Stick; the Church of Christ won the campsite award; the Nifty Fifties team raised the most money; Brenda Matheny was awarded the Luminary Award.

Entertainment included a puppet Show from the First Baptist Church; Trial and Error Band with Chuck Brown, Tommy Edgin, Mark Crooms, and Eddie Thomas; Jarred Price at the keyboard and singing; Hollie Gist; the Band "Nuthin Fancy;" Stahr Mangrum and Ron Moad; "Lost State of Mind" Band; BIC Jr. High Cheerleders; Allison Routon, Sarah and Lauren Roddy; Breona Lasater, Paige Elder, Brianna Shaw and Ruben Palacios; Savannah Stewart; Jordon Miler; and Drake Brown.

Members of the 2004 steering committee included Syrena Duffel, chairman; Tina Matheny, co-chairman; Michelle Womack, team recruitment; Karen Wallace, sponsorship; Brenda Matheny, Revis Blaylock and Nan Snider, publicity; Jennie Fleeman, survivorship; Jan Garrison and Tammy Rolland, registration; Moba Lee Miller, hospitality; James and Tina Matheny, decorations; Mandy Harrison, Paige Brown, luminaries; Karen Vaughn Beth Thompson, activities; Debra Kirby and Phyllis Smith, accounting; Melanie Polsgrove, ACS area manager.

Volunteers again participated in a "Kiss a Pig" contest. The person raising with the most money raised in their name had the privilege to kiss the pig. This year's "lucky" winner was Leachville Mayor Ralph Wells. (He was a good sport when he had to kiss it a second time for the newspaper camera).

Drawings were held for several prizes that were given away throughout the night.

Kids activities included face painting, games, and dunking booths. A inflatable jumping castle was provided by Ronnie Horner in memory of his mother, Ruby Horner, of Manila.

Bob Blankenship served as emcee for the stage activities.

"Finding a cure is what it is all about," Jennie Fleeman, survivorship chairman, said.

Fleeman is a cancer survivor and knows first hand what it means to fight the disease.

Buffalo Island residents can take pride in their accomplishments raising almost $30,000 in the fight against cancer.

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