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Relay teams sought

By Staff | Mar 29, 2013

With the annual Relay for Life of Cape Coral only one month away, event organizers are hoping to attract several more teams to sign up.

The local fund-raiser to benefit the American Cancer Society will be held April 27-28 at Mariner High School. The opening ceremony will kick off at 3 p.m. As of Friday, 35 teams had signed up and committed to participate.

“We’re looking for about 10 more,” event chair Crystal Kaczynski said.

Approximately 38 teams raised $118,000 at last year’s event.

“We’re trying to shoot for $135,000 this year,” she said.

Kaczynski estimated that about $74,000 has been raised as of Friday.

“That’s what’s projected to be turned in at this point, so we’ve got a little ways to go, but we’ve still got time,” she said.

There is no deadline to sign up a team, but sooner is better.

“The sooner they sign up, the soon they can get the information and start fund raising,” Kaczynski said.

Organizers recommend at least eight to 10 per team.

“It is an 18-hour event,” she said. “It’s a long time so you want to have blocks of time when people can rest or fund raise.”

There is a $100 commitment fee per team.

“They can actually fund raise that $100,” Kaczynski said.

While each team sets its own fund-raising goal, organizers ask that each participate try to shoot for raising at least $100 toward the effort.

Fund raising can be done online through social networking sites, using more traditional hands-on efforts, like garage or bake sales, or a combination.

As far as building a team, anyone and everyone can participate.

“You get a wide array of everything,” she said, adding that companies, schools, churches, civic organizations and more put together teams.

For example, Kaczynski first got involved in Relay for Life by joining a company team. When her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2011, family and friends decided to rally together to make their own.

“If you can’t walk, you can still come. We will get you a chair, and you can sell raffle tickets for gift baskets,” she said. “We can definitely utilize anyone.”

Each year, there is a theme. This year it is Relay Around the World.

“You pick a country or a state, and that’s what your theme is going to be for your campsite,” Kaczynski said.

During Relay for Life, teams sell food and desserts for donations. Some make gift baskets to raffle off, while companies may offer services.

She called Relay for Life a community event and a chance to give back.

“Everyone has a reason to Relay,” Kaczynski said. “Everyone is impacted by cancer in some form. I think that’s the reason to Relay.”

“Maybe the money we raise now will find a cure, so we won’t have to Relay in the future,” she said. “We just want you to come out and support us.”

To sign up a team, visit online: www.relayforlife.org/capecoralfl.

People who simply want to donate to the cause can also do so at the site.

The next and final team meeting for the Cape event will take place April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Cape Coral Realtors Association, located in Club Square.

For more information about Relay for Life of Cape Coral, contact the local office of the American Cancer Society at (239) 936-1113, ext. 3904.