Small Fry Tri: Blount’s littlest athletes run, bike, swim for Relay
By Melanie Tucker | (email@example.com)
The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life held its first-ever Small Fry Tri in Blount County Saturday, and the contestants didn’t disappoint.
The event, for ages 2-5, drew 20 mini athletes in its debut, a good turnout, said Meredith Gavin of the American Cancer Society. The little ones competed in a run, followed by a bike or trike ride and then it was under the sprinklers for the third and final event.
The weather was perfect and each child who participated received a T-shirt and medal. The Alcoa Fire Department was on hand to provide the sprinklers.
Children competed against others their own age. And once they completed all three events, some ran, biked and cooled off again and again.
“It was small for our first year we are going to try and grow it,” Gavin said. A mom and dad who are triathletes themselves really loved the idea and their child participated.
The Relay For Life was held in Blount County back in June. It started on Friday evening and lasted until Saturday morning. Each Relay team was responsible for having someone on the walking track at all times during the night. They also raised money for several weeks leading up to the event, which was held at Maryville College.
It did rain on that Friday night, which kept some participants away, Gavin said. The Relay goal for this community was set at $196,000. Gavin said we will fall short, by about $30,000.
There were 41 teams registered for this year’s Relay, with over 400 participants. Mount Lebanon Baptist Church was the top fundraising team, bringing in over $22,000. Members of that hosted a book sale, trash and treasure sale, fashion show and sold baked goods at the Relay. Teams can raise their money in a variety of ways. One church made and sold tamales.
Gavin said ACS increases its Relay fundraising goals each year to be able to provide services to cancer survivors. “We have an increase in survivors and that is awesome,” she said. “But we need to be able to provide programs and services to them.”
The Small Fry Tri raised about $400. July is a great time to hold it because children are going back to school.
And even though the Relay was held weeks ago, this money still counts toward the 2013 goal.
A wrap-up party is being held this week at a local pool, Gavin said.
She said Brian Daniels, president/CEO of Blount Partnership, has been named the chairperson for the 2014 Relay.
When Sept. 1 rolls in, the new fundraising year will start.