The Marco Island Unit of the American Cancer Society kicked off its 2011 Relay for Life campaign at the Marriott Crystal Shores’ Stilt’s on Thursday, July 22nd. On hand for the festivities were ACS’s Marco Island Unit Director Melissa Felice, Relay for Life Campaign Chairman Dr. Loan Lam, and RLF Co-chair Vanessa Warner.
According to Dr. Lam, the purpose of the evening was to fill several key campaign positions. The annual event, popular with residents and visitors alike, will be held April 30-May 1, 2011. Campaign chairs are hoping to move the event to the beach this year and are awaiting final city approval. “We have undertaken the careful planning of the event staging so there will be no impact to the beach,” Melissa indicated. “The set-up will be limited to a specific point at a designated time with one truck being used for off-beach storage. The course will be roped off and lit. Vegetated areas will also be roped off. Our purpose, in addition to fundraising, is to bring awareness of the many programs the ACS offers that benefit those on the road to recovery. The beach is a vital part of Marco Island and we hope to bring that element to this campaign.”
The 2011 Relay for Life’s theme is Castaway the Big ‘C’. “Several teams have already registered, including our team, the Hula Honey’s” said Dr. Lam. “With a great venue and a great theme there’s room for a lot of creative fundraising efforts. All in all we’d like to see fifty teams sign up.” Team registration is $100.00. Sponsors have already come on board, including Captain Brien’s Off the Hook Comedy Club, featuring show dates in which all of the ticket proceeds will be given to ACS.
In charge of planning entertainment for the 18-hour RLF event is Bailey Quinn. “I’ve been involved in RLF since I was in fifth grade at Tommie Barfield and it was held on the school grounds. I got my Dad involved too. I figured, since we’d be awake all night anyway, we might as well be doing something useful!” She has planned contests, music, fun and games, as well as a late movie on the beach, just to slow the event down prior to the quieter hours.
Marva Sutt and Judy Mayo were on hand giving personal testimonial to their experiences and why they continue their efforts each year. It is through passionate volunteers like this that efforts to promote the American Cancer Society, and to recognize the survivors of this terrible disease, continue.