The Henry County Relay for Life event Saturday, conducted for the first time on the court square in downtown Paris, doubled its number of participating teams this year, and drew a nice crowd, too.
Relay Chairman David “Tater” Hayes said he was pleased with the turnout.
“It’d be hard to give you a number of who showed up,” he said of the event as a whole. “But I know we doubled the number of teams this year.”
Hayes said the event may have also doubled its number of tents. This is his first year as chairman of the event, but he said he remembered seven or eight tents last year. This year’s Relay had 15.
Hayes said the move to a new location was well received.
In previous years, Relay for Life had been at the Henry County Fairgrounds, and Henry County High School before that.
“The response was overwhelming,” Hayes said of the new downtown location. “Everybody loved it. I see no reason to change it.”
He said businesses downtown were able to stay open and welcomed the event with open arms.
This year also brought about a change in timing. In previous years, Relay for Life has been in June. Hayes said weather was the primary reason for moving to September.
“We pushed it back because of the heat,” Hayes said. “It usually gets too hot in June.”
The Rosie Baker Award, named for the woman who brought Relay for Life to Henry County, went to Lisa Dolliver.
The Gary Powley Award, traditionally awarded to someone who uses their voice to benefit Relay, was presented to Debra Stoope.
Hayes also presented a new award of his own, The Above and Beyond Award, to Loria Plunk.
Hulme Sporting Goods won Rookie Team of the Year, and First United Methodist Church won an award for raising the most money for the event.
Awards were also presented for different tents, or campsites, and food at the event.
The Best Entree award was presented to the Paris-Henry County Jaycees. Second place went to the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and third went to K&B Supplies for Success.
Best Dessert was awarded to Hulme Sporting Goods. First Methodist Church went home with second place and Paris TOPS won third.
The Paris-Henry County Jaycees won another award for Best Campsite. Second-place winners were K&B Supplies, while Beasley’s Antenna & Satellite won third.