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Long Relay for Life surpasses goals
MR Relay2web
Everyone walks a silent lap during the luminary ceremony. - photo by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI -- The 2008 Long County Relay for Life March 29-30 surpassed both its monetary and team goals this year, and continues to grow into one of the county's biggest events.  
This year, the goal for teams was set at 15 and the amount hoped to be raised was $34,500. According Chairman Cynthia Alexander, 16 teams raised more than goal, though final figures were not available and several additional fundraisers were still planned.
"It has been wonderful. There has been so much support this year," Alexander said. "All I can say is it has been awesome."
Held at Veteran's Field, the opening ceremony kicked off at 6:30 with the national anthem sung by Nicole Warren and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Long County scouts.
Following this, cancer survivors walked the Survivors lap, followed by the Caregivers Lap, Parade of Teams Lap, and Kids Lap. Participants then began walking the track and continued through the night.
At 7:30, KIDZ-ETC. sponsored the Miss Relay for Life Pageant, and the beauties came on the stage. Winning crowns were Paislee Edmondson in the Baby Miss Division, Erica Osborn in the Toddler Miss Division, and McKinleigh Allen was Miss Tiny Miss. Jailyn Horne won the People's Choice Award and Ashlyn Hughes won the Most Sponsored Award and also took home the Petite Miss Title.
Teams had tents set up around the track, and the aroma of food was everywhere. Whether you wanted sausage dogs, chicken, fish or a Lowcountry boil, there was something on the menu for everyone.
There also was something for everyone to do. Whether you like to dance, karaoke, blow bubble gum, scavenger hunt, or limbo, there was an event for all.
"It has been inspiring to see all the kids out here. They're running around playing football, hula-hooping and just having a good time. This is beginning to be something that the whole community looks forward to each year," Alexander said.
Tricia Lohsandt, a member of the Smiley Elementary School Super Eagles Team who was there with her daughter Racheal said, "The luminary ceremony is quite emotional. It touches everyone, and it brings it close to home all the members in my family we have lost to cancer."
This year's event had more than 600 participate, supporting the cause.
Tommy Wingate said he was proud of the community.
"I'm proud of the way the county has come out tonight," he said. "My mother-in-law and sister-in-law both died of cancer. It's something that affects everyone. It's just good to see our community come out like it has for such a good cause."
Co-chairwoman Amy Nutting said, "We want to remember all of our sponsors, and especially CEMEX-Union Sand who was our presenting partner, Beattie Animal Clinic who was our Survivors Partner, and CMAD Construction who was the Caregiver Partner, and again thanks to all who helped."
Alexander added, "Saying thank you is not enough, but it is all I can say. Thank you to all. You have been great."
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