Celebrity Bagging event raises more than $4,000 for Relay For Life
For the fifth consecutive year, Bailey’s General Store came alive with bells, whistles and bullhorns, part of the annual Celebrity Bagging fundraiser – dubbed “Bagging For Life” – for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.
“It began as a way for Bailey’s to support the Relay For Life event on the island even though we could not participate in the event itself,” said Richard Johnson, manager of Bailey’s General Store. “Now, it has grown to be another Bailey’s tradition. ‘Bagging For Life’ will still be around even when some of us are not.”
During the two-day event, held Friday and Saturday at the island landmark business, local “celebrities” – including business owners, restauranteurs, politicians, television reporters and entertainers – take a turn at bagging grocery items for Bailey’s customers. Each customer is then invited to make a donation on behalf of the American Cancer Society; many do so, some dropping as much as a $50 bill into the waiting five-gallon water jugs located at the end of the checkout line.
“This is always a great community effort to raise money for a worthwhile cause,” said Ric Base, president of the Sanibel & Captiva Island Chamber of Commerce. “Sanibel is a very participatory community.”
According to event coordinator Kathy Laura, not only is the event an opportunity to raise funds and awareness about the American Cancer Society, but it’s also a fun gathering for the store’s workers and guest baggers.
“It’s the people who make this lots of fun,” said Laura. “We’ve got some folks here from the chamber, island restaurants and other businesses who like to get a little crazy. When they are having fun, it helps raise a lot of money.”
Sources report last weekend’s event raised more than $4,000 for the ACS Relay For Life, which will be held on Friday, April 23 at the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers. To date, the Sanibel-Captiva Fighting Conch relay team has raised more than $17,000 in pledges, second only to the team from 21st Century Oncology.
“I’m always so overwhelmed by the generosity of everybody,” Laura added. “That’s what makes this such a wonderful event every year.”