Relay team reaches $1M mark

Pictured from left are Jamie Leabeck, human resources manager for Campbell Soup; Merrideth Hale, site human resources leader; Buck Carter, senior purchasing manager; Stewart Thomas, co-chair of Scotland County Relay for Life and Jerry Feeney, plant manager. Hale and Carter hold a crystal plaque and framed letter gifted by representatives of Relay for Life’s corporate office.

Volunteers work to register scores of golfers. A total of 228 signed up for the tournament.

Some 140 golfers wait to make their way onto the course.

Some 140 golfers wait to make their way onto the course.

LAURINBURG — Among a sea of golf carts and clubs on a sweltering Friday morning, organizers of Scotland County’s Relay for Life celebrated a company that has helped them become one of the more successful fundraising campaigns in the nation.

Campbell Kids for a Cure, after a second day of play during the annual Campbell Soup Relay for Life Golf Tournament at Scotch Meadows today, is expected to bring its 12-year tally of donations collected for the American Cancer Society to $1 million.

“As a team, we’re humbled and exhilarated to work to raise money for such a worthy cause,” said Buck Carter, senior manager of purchasing at Campbell Soup, who has led the team for the past nine years.

For Carter, having lost two loved ones to cancer, the crusade against the disease is personal — as it is for many.

“Most people can relate because they’ve had family members or friends who have been diagnosed — not many have not been touched by it,” he said.

Scotland County Relay for Life, in its 19th year, has placed among the top three fundraisers nationwide since 2008 for its population category. Campbell Soup ranks among the top 10 fundraising teams in the nation.

The tally so far this year, according to Scotland County’s Relay for Life website, is at about $29,550. Campbell Soup’s contribution to that total has been $14,440.

Those local dollars are “tremendous” for the organization, said Shannon Ealy, senior director of Relay for Life of North and South Carolina, before reading a framed letter from a Relay executive during a short ceremony near the Scotch Meadows clubhouse.

“I extend my deepest gratitude toward each of the team’s members because without the time and talent from each of you, exceptional results like this would not be possible,” wrote Shari Henning, executive vice president and South Atlantic Division operating officer. “It is truly the energy and teamwork from teams like you that make Relays impactful and inspiring.”

Elizabeth Watkins, a senior manager for Relay for Life, also presented the organizers of Friday’s event with a crystal plaque.

Some 40 volunteers helped with Friday’s event, not all of them Campbell employees.

“With teams and volunteers like these, we are able to make a significant impact by putting more money back into programs, services and cancer research,” Ealy said.

Scotland County’s Relay for Life will kick off on Oct. 2 at Scotland High School’s Pate Stadium.

Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 910-506-3023.