Relay for Life raises nearly $40K

Published 5:17 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The rain did definitely have an impact on the Washington Parish Relay for Life on Friday, according to American Cancer Society liaison Heidi Magrath.

“It kept the usual lunch crowd from coming,” she said. “It rained again briefly around 5:30, which may have also deterred people who were intending to come right after work.”

Magrath said she couldn’t “even begin to venture a guess on attendance.”

But all was not lost for the cause of funding cancer research and local programs.

“To date, we have raised $33,000, and are expecting approximately another $5,000,” she said. “The important thing to note is that fundraising does not end with the close of the Relay for Life event. We actually fundraise year-round, and the teams who signed up for the 2017 Relay for Life can continue raising funds and have them credited to their team accounts through the end of August. Anything that comes in after August goes towards the 2018 Relay event.”

And sponsorships are always welcome after the event because people are fighting cancer year-round. The funding is needed 365 days a year, Magrath said.

“Our first Cook-Off for a Cure went well,” she said. “There were nine teams, with judging by Daryl Terrell, a past New Orleans Saint, Mayor Wendy Perrette, Police Chief Kendall Bullen, incoming Bogalusa City Schools Superintendent Lisa Tanner, and Miss Louisiana Emily Henrichs, who was crowned queen in a pageant for those with special needs.

“The grand winner was Pine First Baptist. They won two Saints tickets to the pre-season game against the Ravens.”

Bill Arata, and his crawfish etouffee rolls, won first place in the Appetizer category. Good Samaritan, and its jambalaya won first place in the Entrée category. And Pine Baptist Church, and its fried oreo beignet, won first place in the Dessert category.

The second place winner in the Entrée category was the Pine Baptist jambalaya. The second place winner in the Dessert category was the City Drug Store pecan praline bundt cake.

The third place winner in the Entrée category was the City Drug Store jambalaya, and the third place winner in the Dessert category was the Ladies Loving Life pound cake.

Overall, Magrath was pleased, and she credits the local volunteers.

“Relay for Life is such a meaningful event for cancer survivors, caregivers, people who know or have known someone affected by cancer, as well as people, organizations and businesses who want to make a difference,” she said. “Many teams look forward to participating in this year after year. These events, though, are only possible through volunteers in the community.”

The ACS is currently looking for people who are interested in planning the 2018 Washington Parish Relay for Life. The planning committee will start to meet in September. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Magrath at 985-966-473 or online at