City gets Relay honors

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For the first time in the city’s history, the city of Suffolk participated in the Rockin’ Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society.

And, it paid off.

Relay for Life is a program of the American Cancer Society through which participants raise money for cancer research and additional ACS programming throughout a 12-hour period of walking, fun activities and celebrating cancer survivors.

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The city of Suffolk team raised more than $4,000 for ACS through fundraising activities such as pledge donations, bake sales and “jeans days” – where employees could donate money to the ACS to be able to wear jeans to work.

All of the hard work led to the city team winning the highest fundraiser for a civic/health/government team.

But, the city’s efforts were not just monetary.

City employees representing the team took to the Nansemond Suffolk Academy track (home of the 2008 Relay for Life) for the entire duration of the event, with volunteers walking, jogging or running from 6 p.m. Friday night until 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

Being on-site all night for Relay for Life, the city team put together a campsite worth seeing, complete with a patriotic theme, including bunting, flags and red, white and blue lights.

For their efforts, the campsite won “Best Decorated Campsite” of all the teams participating in Relay.

“Everyone that participated was thrilled with the recognition, especially since it was their first year participating as a team,” Debbie George, communication director for the city, wrote in a statement to the News-Herald. “But they were even more excited about getting to donate their time and efforts to such a worthy cause. Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. The Relay for Life was a small way for city employees (to) show support and unity for those that have been affected by the disease.”

The City of Suffolk Team was lead by co-chairs Lakita Frazier, director of Parks & Recreation, and Kevin Hughes, economic development manager. The leader of the team’s Decorating Committee was Diana Klink of the city’s Media & Community Relations Department.