Bad economy? Relay funds keep coming

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; If the local economy is suffering, somebody forgot to tell the team raising money for the Miss-Lou Relay for Life.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest annual fundraiser, with events held throughout the country. The Miss-Lou Relay will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, with events taking place until 7 a.m. Saturday, on the Vidalia riverfront.

As of Tuesday night &045; the local event’s Bank Night &045; 33 teams had turned in $95,000 from their fundraisers.

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Compare that with $62,000 raised by Bank Night last year, and you have a whopping increase of almost $33,000.

How did those counting the donations at Silas, Simmons & Co.’s offices Tuesday night react to the grand total?

&uot;I cried,&uot; said Charlene Rushing, one of the event’s organizers. &uot;There was hollering and whistling &045; we were just really excited.&uot;

What goes into that total? Money raised from a variety of fund-raising events held throughout the year, not just during the season leading up to the annual relay.

Those fundraisers included a paintball tournament, sponsorships, paper memorial tags sold by teams, raffles, casino trips, a Natchez Regional vs. Natchez Community Hospital softball game and more, Rushing said.

They also include the sale of luminaries in honor of cancer survivors or in memory of those who have died due to the disease.

And that does not include money still left to be turned in by 17 more relay teams and additional money to be raised by the other teams.

For example, $62,000 was totaled during Tuesday’s bank night. But after the relay, which includes games, food and items for sale, the total grew to $124,424.56.