Spirits high at Relay


Former West Jefferson resident Heather Hall displays nearly two feet of hair clipped from the head of village resident Brian Hunter during Friday’s Relay For Life. Hunter and daughter Jessica Hunter, seen here giggling in the background, were among four locals who donated their tresses to Locks of Love. The donated hair is used to create hairpieces for children undergoing cancer treatment. Hunter said he last donated to Locks of Love 16 years ago. That was also his last haircut. Other hair donors on Friday were Lisa Ramsey of West Jefferson and Justin Wolverton of London.

From long locks to luminaries, this year’s Relay for Life event at West Jefferson High School raised more than $92,400 for cancer research.

And organizer Lori Rinehart said they’re not done, as the clock to donate to the event does not expire until August.

“Things went smoothly,” Rinehart said.

Thirty-one teams participated in the Friday night, June 19 event. Rinehart said 500 luminaries were sold, and the auction brought in $8,600. Three hundred people were served at the Survivor Dinner.

Haircuts were also given at the event, with the strands being donated to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Rinehart said the draw might have been slightly less than usual because of the rainy week, but she said the proceeds were a bit higher than the norm at this point in the process.

“I think we might be ahead of where we usually are,” Rinehart said.

Joshua Lickliter, an 8-year-old who captained a team, won the Inspiration Award and the Miss Relay contest. The Caregiver Award was given to Jack Edwards.

Though things ran smoothly this year, Rinehart said next year is already in the heads of the organizers.

“(Now) we all start planning the next one,” she said.

Brandon Semler can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @BrandonSemler.

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