‘Small’ but powerful: Valencia Lakes West Women’s Club raises thousands for cancer research

MITCH TRAPHAGEN PHOTO

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

A relatively small group at Valencia Lakes is having a big impact on a global scourge. On Saturday, an estimated 300 people signed on to walk for a cure for cancer. The group included residents of Valencia Lakes, along with their extended families, walking around the development’s “big lake,” raising thousands of dollars in the process. The proceeds are donated to fund research at Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center.

The Walk for the Cure event is the culmination of the November fundraising weekend that launches the charitable year of the Valencia Lakes West Women’s Club. On Friday night, the club kicked off their year of giving with 300 people attending their 3rd annual Wine & Cheese Soiree, which included auctions for 100 prizes donated by businesses in the region.

Sandie Papa, the founder of the women’s club and the community’s annual Walk for the Cure, donated the bright orange T-shirts for this year’s event. Since the first walk in 2009, the club has donated approximately $85,000 to Moffitt Cancer Center.

“We are so lucky to have such amazing support by our membership and the Valencia Lakes community,” said Judy Pertl, president of the Valencia Lakes West Women’s Club.

Coming up for the club will be an Angel Tree Gift Drive after Thanksgiving to benefit children in low-income families in Wimauma, in conjunction with Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Church. In May the club will provide scholarships for qualifying graduating seniors from Lennard High School.

At the club’s membership meeting on Jan. 20, 2018, a check will be presented to representatives from Moffitt. As of press time, the total raised from last weekend’s event was not available.

For more information, visit the Valencia Lakes West Women’s Club on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vlwwc/

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