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Relay for Life teams receive national awards

By By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
The Meridian/Lauderdale County chapter of the American Cancer Society announced 13 awards won by Relay for Life 2000 teams at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
The awards included a top "Overall" award for the event, which raised nearly $310,000 to be used in the fight against cancer.
The Relay for Life is held each June at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium, one of thousands of relays held each year in the United States.
Lauderdale County was honored as one of the "Top 5 Relay for Life Communities" in the nation per capita. This year, Lauderdale County ranked No. 2 in the nation in communities with a population base of 75,000 to 99,000.
The local chapter and its volunteers were also honored with two regional awards.
Local teams were recognized as a "Top Relay Fund-raisers in the Region," and also received an award for being "Top 5 Per Capita in the Region" with a fund-raising total of $3.89 per person. This compares to the national per capita average of 60 cents per person.
Excalibur-level sponsor Kim Gianakos, president of Gianakos Associates, received the 2000 "Regional Media Sponsor of the Year."
Other local awards went to teams that raised more than $10,000 each Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Northcrest Baptist Church, Riley Hospital, Rush Foundation Hospital and Trustmark National Bank.
Excalibur awards were also given to four area businesses The Meridian Star, Broadcasters and Publishers, New South Communications and Gianakos Associates for donating $10,000 or more in cash or services during the calendar year.
Lauderdale County's Relay for Life has exceeded its goal by thousands of dollars for the last three years. Last year, 95 teams took part in the project that involves more than 2,500 communities nationwide. This year, more than 100 teams took part in the walk.
For information on how to get involved, call Betty Lou Jones at 482-0166 or Anthony Wilson at 484-2625.
Sharon White is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at swhite@meridianstar.com.

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