River Cities Gazette

Miami Springs to host Relay for Life event this Saturday

DANCING IN THE STREET: Jazzercise maven Brenda Knight led a conga line around the Circle during the evening at last year's Relay for Life event and will be at it again this Saturday as well.
DANCING IN THE STREET: Jazzercise maven Brenda Knight led a conga line around the Circle during the evening at last year's Relay for Life event and will be at it again this Saturday as well.
Gazette Photo/WALLY CLARK

River Cities Gazette


This weekend in Miami Springs, there’s going to be a huge celebration and the entire community is invited to come out. We’re not talking about the River Cities Festival; that’s next month. However, this Saturday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., there’ll be a celebration of different sorts. 

A “Celebration of Life” is the theme for this year’s Relay for Life Event. In the fight against cancer, silence is the last thing that’s needed and the Relay for Life Event is a great place for the River Cities communities to take action and make some noise. 

This year’s event will be located at a new spot from previous years: 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, RFL 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.”

There will be plenty of time for bounce houses, archery, games of chance, food and drinks, music and entertainment that will last all day and into the evening hours.  A fun time is sure to be had by all with the opening ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. and the event running until 9 p.m.

While the Relay for Life, in its entirety, is a special event, the two events that tug on our heart strings the most are the Survivor’s Luncheon and the Luminaria Ceremony.

“The Woman’s Club is honored to once again host the Survivor’s Luncheon at our Clubhouse this year,” said Elizabeth Kourtesis-Fisher, vice president of the Woman’s Club and Survivor’s Luncheon Chair. “We hope this event for survivors inspires all who are struggling with cancer, to know there is hope, and that our community is here. We welcome all survivors and their guest to join us as we ‘celebrate life,’ which is our theme this year.”

As long as the Relay for Life has been going in Miami Springs, so has the Survivor’s Luncheon. The Miami Springs Woman’s Club will again host the luncheon on the event day, beginning at 12 p.m., at the clubhouse, which is located at 200 Westward Drive. All cancer survivors, caregivers and their guests are invited to attend.

The Relay for Life Celebration always comes to an end with a sentimental and beautiful Luminaria Ceremony, which takes place at the closing ceremony, which is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.  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. People will be able to keep the torches as a special keepsake.  

“Having had cancer two times, supporting Relay and raising funds for the American Cancer Society is near and dear to my heart,” said Elaine Martin. According to the official RFL website, Martin happens to be the top fundraiser as a participant and the team leader for the top team, Woodys West End Tavern Team. “It’s great to be affiliated with Woodys as Fred Suco, and all the staff at Woodys, are behind Relay, too. Drop by and see us on Saturday and have your picture taken with our zany photo props!”

Another exciting and extremely generous opportunity the community has to help raise funds is by dining at Johnny’s Soda Fountain on the Circle. Through Saturday, March 15, anyone who dines in for breakfast, lunch or dinner and wishes to make a donation for Relay simply needs to say “Relay for Life.” When you pay your bill, Johnny’s Angel will match whatever the amount of the bill. 

This year the American Cancer Society has made it easier for teams and individuals to sign up. With a small $10 donation, anyone and everyone can join a team. The MS/VG Relay for Life website states that this year there’s a whopping 109 participants and 19 different teams. Those numbers may even increase between now and event day.

There have been so many fun fundraisers this year, from yard sales to toilets in the yards, from scrapbooking all day to bingo at night, and many, many more.

The River Cities community is certainly ready to unite for a fun-filled fundraiser that will be an inspiring opportunity to honor and celebrate cancer survivors, to promote how individuals can reduce their cancer risk, and to raise money to help end cancer.

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