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A weekend of wild weather caused a last-minute location change for Tate County's Relay for Life - but it couldn't dampen the spirits of those determined to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

A total of nine teams filled Troutt Hall at Magnolia Heights, in anticipation of severe weather last Friday night and Saturday morning which caused the venue change from Gabbert Park.

The event was also held at the end of April, several weeks earlier than its normal June date.

K.C. Johns entertained the teams and those survivors being honored with dinner, before the Relay was officially kicked off with the national anthem (courtesy of Polly Harris) and the traditional Survivor's Lap.

Teams held diverse fundraisers, such as a baked potato bar or Mexican food.

According to event co-chair Cayce Starr, the local Relay raised approximately $21,000. Their original goal was $27,000, a figure they could reach by August when the books are closed.

Donations can still be made to 309 Wooten Circle, Senatobia, for this year's Relay until August.

Community support is crucial to the success of events such as this.

"Several members of the Senatobia Home and Garden Club went to Ann Todd's office at Bob Leigh and Associates to put together the gifts for the honored Survivors," said Starr. "Items for these gift bags were collected from: Guaranty Bank, Bancorp South Bank, Sycamore Bank, First Financial bank, Ricky Price State Farm, Northwest MS Community College, ServPro, Fairway Mortgage and Ann Todd at Bob Leigh and Associates, The Other Side and Mimi's on Main.

"We would especially like to thank Magnolia Heights and Coach Patterson for the use of their multi-purpose building, Troutt Hall," said Starr. "We called Coach Patterson just the day before the event as our original rain location did not pan out." 

"Not only did he agree to us using the building he sent students to help us set up, move tables, unloaded our cars, etc. It was a fun time for all involved."

The Survivor's Dinner was served by Judy Weeks and the ladies of Senatobia Church of Christ. The dinner was sponsored by Fred's, Inc., Sycamore bank, Harrah's Heroes, First Tennessee Bank, Pearlie Truth Chapter, Senatobia Church of Christ, and First Financial Bank.

Event sponsors included North Oak Regional Medical Center, The Democrat, and Citizens Bank of Southaven.

Starr says the Tate County Relay for Life committee is looking for new members for next year. Anyone interested in joining the committee for 2011 can contact Starr at 901-647-2027.

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