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Grayson relay raises $36,000

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

FRIES — The skies parted and the sun returned just in time for Grayson County's 2009 Relay for Life last Friday night at the Fries Ball Park.

Event Chairperson Bonnie Byrd said more than $36,000 was raised.

That was short of their goal of $50,000, but Byrd wasn't discouraged. She was thankful for all the money raised.

"Considering the economy, we were very, very pleased," Byrd said. "You don't always reach your goals, and we are thankful for everything we got. There was a lot of excitement with the new teams and we are already looking forward to next year."

Byrd served as chairperson for the first time this year, but has worked with the relay for 11 years.

This was the sixth year Grayson County has held its own relay.

The event opened Friday night with a Survivor's Lap followed by statements from Jane Roberts of the American Cancer Society.

"The good Lord meant for us to just keep going tonight," Roberts said of the stoppage in rain.

After opening ceremonies, each survivor released a purple and silver balloon in the hopes that cancer will someday disappear as easy as the balloons do.

The silver balloon represented the relay's 25th anniversary. A large cake was also on display to celebrate the anniversary. The cake was part of the July 4 parade in Fries and won third place.

The relay featured 15 teams. The top three fund raising teams were: Crusaders for Hope (Captain: Jennifer Underwood Felts), Faith Walkers (Captain: Judy Porter) and Mountain View Church (Captain: Patsy McKnight).

The committee thanked all the volunteers and sponsors who made the relay possible.

Sponsors include: Blue Ridge Crest LLC, Guynn Furniture, Embarq, Subway, Lowe's, Kroger, BB&T, Scott Luper & Sons, Mountain Surf Seafood Restaurant, Southwest Virginia Home Health Care, Underwood Construction, UCT, Rockin T Land & Cattle Company, Grayson-Carroll-Wythe Mutual Insurance Company, Delegate Bill Carrico, Fries Fire Department, Fries Recreation Department, Cockerham Oil Company, Wal-Mart and Blue Ridge Sand Inc.