Cancer walk raises more than $100,000; Spirits high despite little sleep to raise money in Relay for Life
By CONNOR HOLMES, “mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cape Coral Relay for Life came to a close Saturday morning as hundreds of walkers completed final laps on Mariner High School’s athletic field and packed up team campsites, where they spent little to no time sleeping during the 18-hour walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Despite the more-or-less sleepless night, spirits were light and enthusiastic among the participants at around 10 a.m. when the walk ended. It was originally scheduled to end at noon, but finished early due to encroaching storms — with an estimated $140,000 raised for the A.C.S. through donations.
“We are very, very happy with that amount,” said event co-chair Terry Frith. An original goal of $200,000 was unrealistic, said Frith, given the state of the economy and number of sponsors for the event.
“Any amount we raise is more than we started with,” said Frith. “Everyone worked really hard; our teams did great, we’re pleased with our sponsorship.“
The money teams raised to aid in researching a cure for cancer came not only from sponsors of the walk, but also from eventgoers purchasing food, playing games and even buying used books from the team camps encircling the field.
Booths, that through the night were set to the themes of various movies, and tents were disassembled as families and team members packed up to go home.
“I’ve only had about an hour of sleep,” said walk participant and cancer survivor Marilyn Carlino, who despite resting little, said she felt “terrific.“
Carlino, relay team member for Transportation West, has survived through breast cancer, cervical cancer, and vaginal cancer, she said.
“I’m still going strong,” said Carlino, a smile across her face. “These are wonderful people working towards a wonderful cause.“
The Relay for Life featured live music and various fun activities on a center field stage to entertain those in support of the walk.
Additionally, a luminaria ceremony was held at 9 p.m. Friday, when candles were lit during a lap to honor fallen and still-fighting cancer victims.
During closing ceremonies Saturday morning, event co-chairs Frith and Mary O’Toole praised teams for their efforts.
“Celebrate, remember, fight back,” said O’Toole during the ceremony.
The Relay for Life is an annual, national event for the American Cancer Society to raise money to help fight cancer, and the Cape has been celebrating in the tradition for seven years.
To learn more about the disease, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the American Cancer Society Web site at: www.cancer.org.