The Relay for Life chili cook-off was held at the Crossville Depot Feb. 22. The first-place winner was the Fighting for Love team. Bill Pressley and Sherry Lawson presented the award to team captain Christy Holt and family.
The Fighting for Love team was started in memory of their dad, Mike Love, who loved UT football, NASCAR and spending time with his grandkids. In September 2013, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"To say we were all devastated is a serious understatement," said Holt. "My dad had always been the rock of our family. My dad quickly decided after receiving his diagnosis that he, without a doubt, wanted to fight and beat this cancer that was quickly changing the man my sister and I had known as our dad. So that's exactly what we all set out to do."
Radiation and chemotherapy soon started and, no matter how bad her dad felt, he had a smile on his face and a positive "We're gonna beat this" attitude, noted Holt. Last December was a really rough time for Love and his entire family.
"The cancer had really taken a toll on our dad," she said. "Even though physically the cancer was beating our dad, emotionally he was still in fight mode with that same positive 'We're gonna beat this' attitude he had in September when he was diagnosed.
On Dec. 18, Love lost his fight against cancer.
"Our dad was a fighter, and I know he would be so proud that my sister and I are continuing to fight against the horrible disease that took him away from everything he loved and everyone who loved him. Fighting for Love will be a participant in Relay for Life for years to come," she said.
Other winning participants at this year's chili cook-off were Cumberland County Bank's The Money Makers team (second place) and Cumberland Medical Center's Health Initiatives Action Team (third place).