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Lauderdale County's Relay for Life honored for accomplishments

By Staff
TOP DOLLAR Betty Lou Jones of Meridian, left, receives an award from Carlette Hines, regional vice president of the American Cancer Society, on behalf of local volunteers who raised $400,000 this year for the American Cancer Society. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Nov. 15, 2001
Lauderdale County's Relay for Life was recognized nationally Wednesday after raising $400,000 this year for the American Cancer Society.
Lauderdale County raised more money per capita this year than any other location in the United States with a population of 75,000 to 100,000 people. The amount raised averaged $4.84 a person.
Since the local Relay for Life campaign began in 1995, Lauderdale County has raised a total of $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society. The money funds cancer research, advocacy, education and services.
Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's annual fund-raising campaign.
Teams raise money in various ways. Then they meet for an all-night gathering at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium to celebrate with food, games and entertainment.
Betty Lou Jones of Meridian, a longtime American Cancer Society volunteer, accepted the award from the national organization during a luncheon at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center.
Jones herself also was honored with the Volunteer Leadership Award for the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society a region that includes Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee.
Jones also announced that the American Cancer Society will open a regional office in Meridian in the near future in the former Winstead Realty offices on Poplar Springs Drive.
Carlette Hines, regional vice president of the American Cancer Society, presented the award to Jones. Hines made the initial announcement in May that an office could open in Meridian to make American Cancer Society services more accessible to area residents.
Others recognized at the luncheon included Clear Channel Communications, The Radio People and radio station B-93 The Buzz all of which were honored for Best Radio Coverage in the Mid-South Division.
Local Relay for Life teams that raised $10,000 or more were also recognized.
Those teams were: Angie Boatner's Team, First Baptist Church, Highland Baptist Church, Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Jeff Anderson Cancer Center, Meridian Medical Associates, Mississippi Power Co., Northcrest Baptist Church, Riley Hospital, Rush Foundation Hospital and Super Stop.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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