Chelsea Supports Cancer Survivors
By TONY NIVENS / Community Columnist
“I have been part of Relay for Life for 15 years,” said Doug Snyder, at his Ground-Up Coffee and Smoothies booth. “Being a 22-year survivor makes Relay for Life a special event, but having my business involved with a community like Chelsea, it’s even better. We were just a part of the South Shelby Relay when I was co-captain and I really pushed to help bring it here. I am proud of where we have come and Casey Morris, one of my employees, being the event captain now.”
“I am participating because of my sister-in-law and my great-nephew, JC Allen, who died about a year ago,” said Kathy Gardner Brasher, captain of the Heritage Bank of the South team. “I just thought I wanted to do something like this in memory of them. We also brought three other co-workers from our bank team.”
Several teams from Chelsea High School also supported the event, including booths selling pizza, candy, baked goods, grilled burgers and hot dogs. They were painting faces, painting nails, dunking basketballs, taking pie in the face and selling deluxe hugs.
“Principal Trucks does a great job, getting the students ready,” said Morris. “They have events all through the year to support Relay.”
Civic organizations, churches, schools, business and individuals each pitched in to support Relay.
“Without Relay I probably wouldn’t be here today,” said Sandy Johnson, special education para-professional at Chelsea Park Elementary. “Relay raises money for cancer research and that helped find medicines and a cure for me.”
Johnson was proud to show off the baskets, lightning bug crafts and ribbons the student council sold to support Relay. She and Madeline Looney, fifth grade teacher, are co-captain of Chelsea Park’s team and their secret weapon was a special five dollar pin teachers could buy to wear blue jeans all week.
“My family from south Alabama used the Relay’s Hope House when they needed to stay near UAB,” said Johnson, “and they have helped us a lot with information. I had never heard of anyone else with tongue cancer when I had mine. They help me not to feel as alone. Thanks to Relay I am a cancer survivor.”