On April 13th and 14th community teams, friends and family descended upon our fabulous host site – the Marco Island Charter Middle School – for 18 hours to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back. Even the hottest day of the year could not dampen the enthusiasm of all the Relay For Life participants as DJ Ken Hodsdon kicked off the event.
Participants honored those we have lost, celebrated those who are having another birthday and fought back with their time and energy to raise money to fund American Cancer Society programs and research. The Opening Ceremony featured Marva Sutt who sang the national anthem, City Council Chairman, Joe Batte, who presented a proclamation declaring it Relay For Life weekend and Lisa Meurgue who presented Judy Mayo with the Sandy Holdgate Spirit of Relay Award.
A large turnout of survivors and caregivers arrived at the luncheon catered by several area restaurants with service and entertainment provided by the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Spa. Award-winning band, One Night Rodeo, put on an amazing show for everyone at sunset with local band No Exceptions entertaining the crowd earlier in the day. Another highlight was the Luminaria Ceremony where attendees paused to reflect and remember all those affected by cancer. When it was all over, 18 hours later, more than $210,000 had been raised!
I want to thank all of our teams: 7-11,Bistro Soleil, Chick’s Against Cancer and 1 Cool Dude, Clausen Properties, Empire Bagel Factory, Hideaway, Hilton, Keller Williams, Leach Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Marco Island Academy Rays, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Spa, Marco Mom’s Against Cancer, Marriott Crystal Shores, My Marco Properties, Rotary (noontime), South Seas East Condos, Stand Up To Cancer, Starbucks, Sun Blazers, Team BMO, The Cancer Fighters, Toastmasters, Walgreens, Wells Fargo, and Winn Dixie.
These teams all worked tirelessly all year raising money and preparing for the event. A big congratulations to the top team, Hideaway, whose Casino Night, Golf Tournament and Car Show raised over $120,000! The second place team and in-kind donor was the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Spa raising almost $25,000; in third place was Marco Moms Against Cancer whose calendar raised almost $12,000; fourth place was Bistro Soleil whose ‘Fight Like a Girl’ Fashion Show contributed $7,000; and in fifth place was Chicks Against Cancer and 1 Cool Dude who raised just shy of $4,000.
More than half of the teams achieved a recognized fundraising level which is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations to all of our teams and thank you for all you are doing your part in the fight against cancer. I hope to see all of you back and ready to fight next year!
The ACS Marco Unit would also like to thank 25 local area realtors for sponsoring the kids fun zone, our local artists who contributed a piece of ‘purple’ art for our auction and our in-kind and track marker sponsors for their participation.
Finally, to our event sponsors Robert J. Flugger, DirectCare Home Health and Physicians Regional, we appreciate your continued support of Relay For Life. We could not have done it without each and every one of these donors and sponsors!
An event the size of Relay For Life would not be possible without an amazing group of volunteer committee members who were led by Event Chair, Raul Medina. In addition to Raul, thank you to Jamie Bergen, Joe LaBar, Cathy Nelson, Judy Mayo, Nancy Brewer, Karen Ingram, Donna Cottrell, Dr. Loan Lam, Eric VenHuizen, Loni Atton, Stephanie Zwade, Peter Morris and Brandy Simpson for all of their hard work to make Relay For Life 2013 so successful.
Residents, visitors and businesses in Marco Island, Goodland and Isles of Capri are incredibly generous and all of us want to thank you for supporting our fundraisers and contributing to The American Cancer Society. In case you haven’t had a chance to participate, there’s still time to support Relay For Life – come to the Team BMO car wash at Progressive on May 19th from 9 AM to 3 PM. We’d like to see all of you there!
If you’d like to learn more about Relay For Life and how you can join us, contact the American Cancer Society Marco Island at 239-642-8800 ext. 3890.
If you would like to find out more about The American Cancer Society or would like to volunteer to serve on a committee or as a board member, please contact Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3891