The Relay for Life of Sun City Center, held April 10-11 at Trinity Baptist Church, brought several generations of families together on the track. Participants walked, ran, rode in strollers, and propelled scooters to raise funds for cancer research. The survivors’ lap at noon highlighted the successes of modern medicine in conquering the disease. Though more work needs to be done and more funding obtained, the survivors participating in the lap were evidence that the American Cancer Society is living up to its motto of “Celebrating More Birthdays.”
Following the first lap, survivors and their caregivers were treated to a luncheon provided by South Bay Hospital.
Throughout the day, members of the 18 registered teams walked laps, participated in games, and sold food and wares to raise money to support Relay. Additional monies were raised in donations made for the luminaria service held later in the evening. The participants filling the church sanctuary learned from cancer survivors Rev. Betty Beach-Connell and Dale Revell how their successful struggles against the disease strengthened their families and their faith. Exiting the sanctuary, members of the group again walked the track, which was now fully surrounded by luminary bags displaying the names of loved ones lost to the disease and of those who, like Betty and Dale, have fought and are now cancer free.
The event wound down on the morning of the 11th with a pancake and sausage breakfast, with ticket sales again benefiting the American Cancer Society. Committee Chair Vivian Hodgkin announced that, to date, the event has raised $33,500 toward its goal of $40,000. The books will remain open until August to allow for later contributions and fundraising events.