The Sixth Annual Relay for Life of Miami Springs/Virginia Gardens/Medley is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from noon to Sunday, April 28 at 6 a.m. on the Circle of Miami Springs. The 18-hour event has a theme this year of “more birthdays.”
A team party kickoff was held on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the Miami Springs Community Center. Relay Event Chair Sandra Ortiz welcomed the community to their kickoff to celebrate the 2013 Relay for Life fundraiser to battle cancer.
Funds raised at Relay for Life of Miami Springs/Virginia Gardens/Medley help the American Cancer Society to impact the lives of those touched by cancer. In 2012, Relay For Life events across Florida raised more than $20 million. The Relay for Life of Miami Springs/Virginia Gardens/Medley raised $62,000. This year’s goal is $65,000.
The kickoff gave the community an opportunity to begin signing up new Relay teams, join existing ones and at the same time enjoy a night of refreshments and rekindle friendships.
The goal is to have 35 teams participating. A team is typically comprised of anywhere from 12 to 15 people, led by a team captain. Each teammate commits to raising at least $100 and participates in the overnight event. While teams do the majority of their fundraising prior to the event, many teams hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites during Relay For Life.
The Relay For Life “Team Jazzercise” held a Girl’s Night Out Burlesque Class with special choreography taught by 10 certified instructors in Burlesque-style costumes on Friday, Jan. 25 as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The event was a huge success with more than 50 participants and $800 raised for the cause.
Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity, with communities around the country participating yearly. It’s a wonderful, fun-filled event designed to celebrate survivorship, raise money for cancer research, education, advocacy efforts and patient services. Anyone can take part in Relay For Life. Relay is a family-friendly event and teams come from all parts of the community.
It all began in 1985 with one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Wash. He decided to walk around a track for 24 hours and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The following year he decided to recruit teams. And before you knew it, Relay for Life as we know it was born. Today, more than 3 million people have participated in this effort.
“The Relay For Life is all about our community uniting with the American Cancer Society and supporting its efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays,” Ortiz said. “Volunteers and participants who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event are making a commitment to let this community know that cancer can be defeated.”
Ortiz reflected why Relay for Life meant so much to her. “I Relay in honor of my dad. I lost my dad two years ago. I Relay for him because he was afforded so many opportunities to battle his cancer. It extended his diagnosis because he was able to research treatment, decide what he wanted to do and have the dignity to fight a fair fight. I Relay for him. I Relay for his friends who lost the battle and his friends who survived it.