‘Power in Purple’ Relay for Life team wins regional competition

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Submitted photo Seated, left to right, Charlotte Ward, Lynda Tremaine, Patsy Jones, Mary Roberson and Oline Price. Standing, left to right, Beth Whitten, Anne Grady, Carolyn Matthews, Barbara Patton, Sheila Eckman, Cheryl Gladden and Roberta Jackel.
Submitted photo
Seated, left to right, Charlotte Ward, Lynda Tremaine, Patsy Jones, Mary Roberson and Oline Price. Standing, left to right, Beth Whitten, Anne Grady, Carolyn Matthews, Barbara Patton, Sheila Eckman, Cheryl Gladden and Roberta Jackel.

Special to the
Opelika Observer

Councilwoman Patricia A. “Patsy” Jones broke new ground at the 2016 Lee County Relay for Life when she assembled a new team composed of Lee County’s elected female politicians to raise money for the Power in Purple Campaign of American Cancer Society. Power in Purple is a new National Event set in all states to raise funds for Cancer research and patient services. Lee County’s inaugural team, coordinated by Jones, competed against 30 other teams in the southeastern region from March 16 – April 16. Jones won the local contest. Each team in the region had 15 members, and the financial goal was $10,000. Lee County’s Power in Purple team called “Pioneers in Purple” won first place in the southeastern region, raising $13,750.12. Those participating on the team were 15 present and former women in Lee County governments: City of Opelika – the Honorable Anne Grady, former first female member and first female president of Opelika City Council; the Honorable Barbara Patton former first female mayor of Opelika; the Honorable Patricia A. “Patsy” Jones, present first African American female member and first African American female president pro tem of Opelika City Council; City of Auburn – the Honorable Cheryl Gladden, former member of Auburn City Council, the Honorable Roberta Jackel, former member of Auburn City Council; the Honorable Charlotte Ward, former member of Auburn City Council; the Honorable Carolyn Matthews, former member of Auburn City Council; the Honorable Gail Langley, former member of Auburn City Council; the Honorable Jan Dempsey, former first female mayor of Auburn; the Honorable Lynda Tremaine, present member of Auburn City Council; the Honorable Beth Witten, present member of Auburn City Council; the Honorable LaFaye Dellinger, present first mayor of Smiths Station; Lee County – the Honorable Shelia Eckman, present Lee County Commissioner and former member of Auburn City Council;  the Honorable Oline Price, present Lee County Revenue Commissioner; and the Honorable Mary Roberson, present Lee County Circuit Clerk.
According to Ashlee Baggett, who is the community manager for the Relay for Life mid-south division of American Cancer Society, the numbers posted for the top 5 Power in Purple Events deadline contest totals that determined the winners were:
1. Lee County, Ala. with $13,360.12
2. Clark County, Ark.    with $9,606.20
3. Lafayette, La.with         $6,765.00
4. Bradley, Tenn. with $4,141.00
5. Columbia, Miss.        with $3,660.00
This inaugural team has pledged to continue in the future with the Lee County Relay for Life events. In addition, the bond made among the team of female politicians sparked various future service-oriented endeavors.
Along with raising more than $13,000 for cancer research, the Pioneers in Purple also raised awareness in their communities.  The dollars raised in Lee County support members of the local community.

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