Officials: 2012 Relay for Life raised $165,000

That's a wrap. The 2012 Relay For Life community wrap-up event took place Tuesday in Garrett Hall at First United Methodist Church. A total $165,447.28 has been raised to date, officials said. “The season doesn't officially wrap up until Aug. 31, and we will take money until that time,” Relay For Life Chairman Manny Negron said. “This year we fell short of our set money goal, but we reached our goal at the same time … we were able to touch the lives of several survivors, caregivers, family members and community members.”Negron said his personal goal was to make this year's Relay a memorable experience.“I truly believe we accomplished our goal. We let the survivors know this is about them and we are here to celebrate them,” he said. Despite being short of the monetary goal, this year proved to have more team participation and community involvement. There were more than 50 sponsors and underwriters, with Dr. John and Paula Farquhar once again being the top individual contributor with $3,000. “For the past several years the Farquhars have been one of our biggest supporters if not our biggest,” Negron said. “We are so thankful for their support over the years of Relay.”Another big achievement this year was the 35 plus member committee. The Howard/Glasscock County Relay for Life had the biggest committee in the region, according to Negron. “Our committee members played a very important role. It is because of their hard work that we were able to have the success that we did and it couldn't have been done without them,” he said. During the community wrap-up, several awards were distributed. Recognition was given to committee members and teams with special thanks going to TexaStone Racers for that team's years of contribution to the local Relay. The Spirit of Relay award was presented to 8-year-old Madison Rodgers. She was a member of her grandmother's team and was able to raise more than $1,000 by selling different duct tape items. “Madison represents the true spirit of Relay. She did all this for her 'Nana,' who is a survivor of cancer,” Negron said. “One thing that we need to remember is that if we don't believe in the message of hope and bring that message of hope to the community and survivors of Howard and Glasscock counties then we don't believe in Relay,” he added.Other awards presented included: most laps, achieved by R.E.L.A.Y. For a Cure; and Scenic Mountain Medical Center Cancer Crushers team, which was recognized for the most creative campsite. Appreciation also went to First United Methodist Church for the use of the facility, Big Spring Independent School District for the use of the track for Relay and to PJ the DJ for providing the music. According to Negron, PJ the DJ has already committed to being part of next year's Relay For Life event as well. “We are so grateful that we have all these people wanting to provide their support,” Negron said. “This is truly a community event and it takes the work of everyone to be able to make it a success.”Tentative dates for the 2013 Relay For Life were also announced Tuesday. Community kick-off is set to take place in November, committee kick off is scheduled for October and Relay is set for the spring. “All the dates we have are still tentative, but we do know that we will be back at Blankenship Field again and we are looking forward to next year's event already,” Negron said. “There were a lot of positive things that took place this year, but we are already looking at ways to improve next year's Relay in order for us to make it a bigger and better event,” he added.One of the improvements Negron and the committee will be working on in the upcoming year is the education factor. This past year, 2012 Hero of Hope Debbye ValVerde helped spread the word about the cause by traveling around the area and visiting area communities and Relays. “Debbye did a wonderful job of representing Howard and Glasscock counties this year. She traveled to many area communities visiting several Relays and sharing her story,” Negron said. “This is something we want to continue in our own community for the upcoming year and expand on the education aspect. We want people to know about cancer, the programs offered by the American Cancer Society and get people to tell their stories.”He continued, “We are doing our best and striving to get that message of hope out to residents in Howard and Glasscock counties.”For those wanting to join the committee or put together a team, call Negron at 432-816-9464. For more information on teams, call Howard Stewart at 432-935-0582.More information can also be found by following the local Relay information on Facebook and Twitter. Search rflbigspringtx to find them on both sites. Email can also be sent to