4th Annual American Cancer Society Mini Relay for Life set for Aug. 13
By LOIS KINDLE
Few people can say they know someone whose life hasn’t been touched in some way by cancer. They might have the disease, could have survived it or actually succumbed to its devastating effects.
So every year, the American Cancer Society hosts Relay for Life events around the country to raise funding to “conduct breakthrough research, provide 24/7 support for cancer patients and give folks access to lifesaving screenings,” said Tammy Schoonover, senior development manager for the nonprofit organization’s Southeast Region.
This year’s 4th Annual Mini-Relay for Life, themed Rally Your Troops to Fight Cancer, will take place Aug. 13 at the Freedom Plaza auditorium, 1010 American Eagle Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Brian Bower, committee chairman, invites you, your family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors to get involved in whatever way possible to honor and remember loved ones affected by cancer and to act for lifesaving change.
“We envision a future where we no longer live with the threat of cancer,” he said. “Unfortunately, that future is at risk, and there is now mission urgency, since the COVID-19 pandemic forced postponement of fundraising activities for almost two years. We want you to join us in helping support the fight against cancer and give us hope for the future.”
There are several ways to do this.
• You can be part of the Mini-Relay For Life of Sun City Center as an individual, form a team or join an existing one, raise funds (no minimum required) and actually walk in air-conditioned comfort at the event. Visit www.relayforlife.org/suncitycenterfl or call Connie Lesko, co-chairwoman, at 813-927-1147.
• If you’re part of a business, neighborhood or civic organization, nonprofit or church group, you can sign it up as a vendor.
• You can also go watch the event, wear your military branch colors and visit vendors supporting the cause.
• Even if you can’t participate, you can help save lives by donating to fuel the American Cancer Society’s mission on the website, over the phone; by dropping off a check written to the American Cancer Society at the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce or at the ROC office at Freedom Plaza; or by mailing it with the notation Sun City Center Relay in the memo field to P.O. Box 17127, Tampa, FL 33672.
“Having the event indoors will be more comfortable,” Lesko said. “The auditorium has a walking track, full stage and great sound system.
“Your team doesn’t even have to come to the event,” she added. “You can simply raise money, help us reach our goal ($10,000) and have your team listed on our website.”
Sponsored by the Retired Officers’ Corp. at Freedom Plaza and the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce, the mini-relay will feature an opening ceremony at 10 a.m.; survivors lap at 10:15 and an American-heroes lap at 10:30, followed by an all-teams lap at 10:45; luminaria ceremony at 12:30 p.m. and closing ceremony at 1 p.m.
To help raise funds, lots of food, like pork sliders, hot dogs, Howie’s Pizza, pasta salad and desserts from Plaza West; vendor raffles of items valued at $25 or more; and entertainment by local performer Thor Stevens, a cancer survivor, will be available.
The event is open to the public. Rides by tram or golf cart will be provided to and from visitor parking for folks coming and going. Admission is free.
Thus far, teams signing up include the Freedom Plaza Freedom Fighters, Edward Jones Temple Terrace and Chamber Champions (South Hillsborough); Military Family Support Trust, United Health Care and Superior Care Pharmacy; Unshakable Faith, First Light Homecare and Salty Shamrock; Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, The Observer News and Lake Michigan Credit Union; Sam’s Club, Hawkins Strong and more.
All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.