Relay tops last year

Published 10:11 pm Monday, August 1, 2011

Chair Ginny Lee Melton, left, presents a plaque to Robert Bradshaw of the Lipton Cold Brewers team for being the top fundraising team in the 2011 Suffolk Relay for Life. The team raised more than $30,000.

Annual event raises $243,757 for cancer research

Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life officials announced a whopping total for this year’s fundraising efforts at their wrap-up event on Monday.

“Our biggest news is that this year, we raised $243,757,” said chair Ginny Lee Melton. “And we’re not done. Some people have turned in money tonight.”

The total equals about $40,000 more than last year’s Relay. The 2011 event also brought in 1,273 registered participants — about 500 more than last year — 70 teams, and 189 registered cancer survivors, which was about double the 2010 total.

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Committee members also were recognized at the event.

“She does so many things behind the scenes that nobody knows about,” Anne Barclay of the American Cancer Society said of Melton.

In addition, the top individuals and top teams in fundraising were recognized. Some also received “Grand Club” membership, which goes to people who raise $1,000 or more.

In addition, prizes were announced for campsite themes. Most notable was Team Darden from King’s Fork Middle School, which won Most Spirited. Its namesake, former principal Talmadge Darden, passed away the day before the Relay after a battle with cancer.

Now that the 2011 Relay is officially in the books, volunteers already are gearing up for next year’s Relay.

“We’re looking for a lot of great people,” Melton said.

A sign-up sheet was out at the Monday meeting for people to choose committees, and Barclay announced a contest to pick a theme for next year.

The winner of the contest receives $50 toward his or her fundraising goal. Votes can be made through email to or on the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life Facebook page.