River Cities Gazette

Miami Springs/VG Relay for Life teams begin fundraising for March 15 event

MOTHER/DAUGHTER TIME: Marina Armenteros and daughter Aly (age 10) recently attended the Relay for Life scrapbooking fundraiser and always turn it into a special mother/daughter day.
MOTHER/DAUGHTER TIME: Marina Armenteros and daughter Aly (age 10) recently attended the Relay for Life scrapbooking fundraiser and always turn it into a special mother/daughter day.
Gazette Photo/ANGIE AGUILA

River Cities Gazette

The fight against cancer continues as the River Cities communities band together to raise funds for the annual MSVG Relay for Life Event, which will take place on Saturday, March 15. 

This year’s event will be at a new spot this year, on the Curtiss Parkway bike path right off the Circle, next to the farmer’s market.

“We hope this will be better for the surrounding businesses, better visibility and more access to parking,” said Susan Baan, MSVG Relay for Life chairperson. “Our committee also wants to stress that this year is all about family fun! We will have bounce houses, a photo booth, food, music, and entertainment.

“As the event chair, I am very excited about some changes that our committee and the America Cancer Society have made to this year’s Relay for Life event.  The Relay has gone back to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The ACS has also made it easier for a team to sign up; instead of the $100 team fee, it is now just $10 for every signed up team member.”

Local teams are already very busy applying a healthy dose of competitive spirit. On Saturday, Jan. 18 the Miami Springs Middle School Relay for Life Team raised $600 at their annual scrapbooking fundraiser, which included breakfast, lunch,  prizes, and a lot scrapbooking.

Scrapbook enthusiasts backed their car up to the door to unload all of their materials and enjoyed a full day of scrapping. Food, drinks and prizes were generously donated by friends of the team members. The event took place, as it usually does, at Poinciana United Methodist Church fellowship hall. 

“I'm grateful for organizations like this that support the research that have helped to save my friend’s life,” said Marina Armenteros, who has been attending the scrapbook events with her daughter, Aly, for many years as a fun mother/daughter day together.

Armenteros was referring to her friend, longtime Miami Springs Middle School science teacher Julie Lopez-Donlon, who was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2007. Today, Lopez-Donlon celebrates being cancer-free for five years. 

“Even those that can’t come to our scrapbooking event always help with a donation,” Lopez-Donlon said. “It means the world to me that I have so many supportive friends.”

In addition to their scrapbooking event, the Miami Springs Middle School Team plans on hosting a gold party and a spaghetti dinner to boost their fundraising.

The Relay committee offered a special thank you to the following teams who are also preparing for the big day: Drew’s Crew; Espino’s Young Guns; Medley Cops for a Cure; Miami Springs Optimist; Miami Springs Starbucks; Miami Springs Woman’s Club Survivor Reception Team; Rotary Club of Hialeah/Miami Springs; Team Jazzercise; and Woody’s West End Tavern.

The next Relay for Life Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Women’s Club at 7 pm. Everyone in the community is encouraged to come to the meeting. It’s not just for team captains

Other fundraisers include the sixth annual “Golfing Under the Stars” night tournament. It’s limited to 60 golfers and will feature a very special nine-hole scramble. The event takes place Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Miami Springs Golf and Country Club.

This year, for a minimum donation of $25, people can have a tiki torch lit at the main event in memory of, or in honor of a loved one during the beautiful Luminaria Ceremony, which takes place toward the end of the night. People will be able to keep the torches as a special keepsake.  

“So why should you form a team and help to fight cancer? Well, simply put, because everyone who reads this has been touched by cancer. You have a family member, co-worker, the waitress at your favorite restaurant, a beloved pet or you yourself have been diagnosed with cancer. No one is immune from this,” Baan said. “So join us, put together your team. It can be a business, a club, a bunch of friends or just you. Once you make the commitment, others will help and follow. Our committee and past teams are here to help you with anything you need. Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens and Medley are communities that care! We can make a difference!”

Signing up is extremely easy. Just visit www.relayforlife.org/msvgfl. Click “Sign Up,” decide whether you want to “Start a Team” or “Join a Team,” or register as a cancer survivor and “Walk the Survivor Lap,” or “Walk as an Individual.”

If you have any questions you contact Baan at (305) 302-0546 or widgetb@aol.com, or contact event co-chair Gisela Kelly at g.kelly@hlelectric.com.

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