Relay for Life holds special meaning

Published 4:23 pm Monday, May 2, 2011

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Many people are impassioned for causes based on personal experience. This is true of Joanna Watts.

Watts, seventh grade math teacher at Calera High School, began helping her friend Amy Jacobs coordinate the Miss Relay for Life of West Shelby pageant in 2007.

For the past two years, she has sponsored it. Watts has a two-fold reason for supporting the American Cancer Society. Her aunt, Garnett Goff, who Watt’s considers her mom, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

“This is just one way of showing how much she has meant to me,” Watts said. “It’s also a way of honoring other family members my grandmother, grandfather and three aunts who lost the battle with cancer.”

Goff is cancer free today and was in attendance April 9 when granddaughter Christan Smith, was crowned 2011 Miss Relay for Life.

Reigning Miss Relay for Life of West Shelby Christan Smith with her grandmother, Garnett Goff (seated) and aunt, Joanna Watts. (Contributed)

Winners of the pageant were: Baby Miss Relay for Life Lillian Kate Buse; first alternate Ella Clair Dooley; second alternate Morgan Barrett; third alternate Emma Grace Bass.

Tiny Miss Relay for Life Chloe Hannah; first alternate Brooklyn Clark; second alternate Ella Marie Fondren; third alternate Bailey Barrett, Kaylee Ann Martin and Ava Horn.

Tiny Mr. Relay for Life Blaine Keith Graham; first alternate Carter Ewing; second alternate Peyton Waldrop.

Petite Miss Relay for Lifen Savanna Burnett; first alternate Anna Cate Burnett; second alternate McKinzy Cooper; third alternate Makiley Porter and Kaylee Marie Burnett.

Little Miss Relay for Life Crimson Headley; first alternate Jocelyn Ewing; second alternate Brooke Smith.

Little Mr. Relay for Life Colby Hannah.

Junior Miss Relay for Life Kelsea Smith; first alternate Carlee Laurent; second alternate Taylor McNeal; third alternate Meredith Goggins.

Junior Mr. Relay for Life Palmer Studdard; first alternate Dylan Jones; second alternate Zevin Taylor; third alternate Elijah Brown and J. B. Burns.

Miss Relay for Life Christan Smith; first alternate Haley Brackett.

Mollie Brown can be reached at