Walk of Hope inspires record night of giving

Walk of Hope inspires record night of giving

By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER Messenger Associate Editor It was a record-breaking year for Obion County Hometown Walk of Hope. To start off the annual giving event, a record number of 47 sponsors gave a record $41,000. Then, as the walk event wrapped up Saturday night, co-organizer Brenda Perry an-nounced to those still in attendance that $171,254.74 had been collected as of 11:15 p.m. Thirty teams comprised of businesses, churches, organizations and families and friends worked over the past year to raise a majority of those funds to support the Obion County Cancer Agency. They held such events as bake sales, yard sales, car washes, food sales and raffles all year to earn the money. Those teams converged on Union City High School’s War Memorial Stadium Saturday to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those who have succumbed to the horrible disease. One-year survivor Tommy Gossett served as honorary chairman of the event. All survivors were honored with a reception hosted by Team Cathy in memory of Cathy Simmons, who lost her battle with cancer. Mrs. Simmons had made it her mission in past years to organize the survivor reception. New and repeat sponsors were honored during the reception as well. They were invited to visit with Obion Countians who are cancer survivors, among them 4-year-old Braylin Pate, daughter of Brad and Roxanne Pate of Union City, whose leukemia is in remission. She and her family travel to Memphis each Monday to have tests run and visit doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She was diagnosed at the age of 2. Braylin was one of a handful of children younger than age 12 who have cancer and attended the event. They were given gift baskets by the Obion County Cancer Survivors team. More than 100 cancer survivors showed up to walk the survivor lap at 6 p.m. Throughout the day and night, the teams continued to raise money by selling goods at each of their camp sites. Funnel cakes, lemonade, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, hamburgers, hotdogs and barbecue were a small sampling of the many food items enjoyed by those in attendance. Teams also competed against each other in a barbecue cook-off, Hometown Idol competition, lip sync contest and womanless beauty revue. Their banners, batons, camp sites and team spirit were also noticed by organizers and prizes were awarded to the top teams. Winners during the event included: • Barbecued chicken — first place, Reelfoot Baptist Church; second place, Coca-Cola; and third place, STAR Physical Therapy. • Barbecued pork — first place, Reelfoot Baptist Church; second place, Coca-Cola; and third place, STAR Physical Therapy. • Barbecued beef — first place, Reelfoot Baptist Church; second place, STAR Physical Therapy; and third place, Coca-Cola. • Miscellaneous barbecue — first place, Reelfoot Baptist Church; second place, Team Alexander; and third place, Coca-Cola. • Hometown Idol competition, first place, Jamie Worrell, Wal-Mart; second place, Brian McWherter, Baptist Memorial Hospital; and third place, Nathan Tanner, Ladies Choice of Calvary Baptist Church. • Lip sync contest — first place, The Love Boat Show Girls, Union City J’Cettes; second place, Kirby Lake as Ray Charles, Team Cathy; and third place, Paula Naylor as Dolly Parton, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. • Womanless beauty revue — queen, Bryant Cruce, Republic Services; first maid, Kenny Adkins, Troy First Baptist Church; and second maid, Barrett Betts, STAR Physical Therapy. • Banners — first place, Troy First Baptist Church; second place, Union City J’Cettes; and third place, Doctor’s Clinic. • Batons — first place, Doctor’s Clinic; second place, Republic Services; and third place, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. • Camp sites — first place, First Citizens National Bank; second place, Mount Ararat Cumberland Presbyterian Church; and third place, (three-way tie) Second Baptist Church, Baptist Memorial Hospital and Ladies Choice of Calvary Baptist Church. • Team spirit — first place, Team Cathy; second place, Wal-Mart; and third place, Republic Services. The Obion County Cancer Agency funds expenses for cancer victims in need in Obion County. Last year, an average of 45 families were assisted each month. Donations are still required so the needs of more families can be met. Checks may be mailed to Obion County Hometown Walk of Hope, P.O. Box 482, Union City, TN 38281. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 6.9.08

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