Relay For Life of FishHawk (above) and Relay For Life of Bloomingdale (left) will be holding their Relays from Friday, March 25-Saturday, March 26.

Residents are invited to grab their walking shoes to do some laps at a local high school in support of finding a cure for cancer through various Relay For Life events in the community.
Relay For Life of Bloomingdale
According to American Cancer Society Community Representative Sara Levinson, there are currently 52 teams with more than 600 participants signed up to be a part of Relay For Life of Bloomingdale, to be held at Bloomingdale High School, located at 1700 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.
The event is scheduled to begin on Friday, March 25, at 6 p.m. and continue through the night until Saturday, March 26, at 12 Noon.
At last year’s Bloomingdale Relay, 45 teams signed up and raised $94,000; this year, the goal is to raise $98,000.
The theme for Bloomingdale’s Relay is “Quest for a Cure.”
“Teams are picking explorers, landmarks and other adventurous themes,” Levinson confided.
Unique to the Bloomingdale Relay this year will be a flash mob. “The flash mob was a huge hit at last year’s event and will be taking place around 10 p.m.,” she added.
For more information or to sign up for this event, please visit
Relay For Life of FishHawk
Relay For Life of FishHawk will take place the same days and times as Bloomingdale’s – Friday, March 25, starting at 6 p.m. until Saturday, March 26, at 12 Noon.
It will be held at Newsome High School, located at 16550 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia, with the theme “Toon Out Cancer,” where teams will chose their favorite cartoon to decorate their campsites.
“Teams have chosen cartoons such as Monsters, Inc.; Rugrats; Tom & Jerry and SpongeBob,” Levinson disclosed.
The Relay currently has 38 registered teams with approximately 460 walkers, which is already more than the 37 team the event drew in last year, raising $112,000.
For more information or to participate, please visit
Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities take part in a Relay For Life event. Moreover, international Relay events are held in 19 countries around the world.
Levinson explains why residents should Relay: “Relay For Life is about a community taking up the fight against cancer. We have all been touched by cancer in one way or another. Relay For Life gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those we have lost, and fight back against this terrible disease.”
“Not only is this a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, it is also a family friendly event that all can enjoy. There will be food, fun, and activities for all ages. Each person can do their part by helping the American Cancer Society save lives and create a world with more birthdays!” she added.
During a Relay For Life event, the beginning lap is walked by survivors and their caregivers and the luminaria ceremony, during which candles within bags with the names of loved ones and friends burn brightly and is one of the highlights and most emotional parts of the night.
On the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life page, it states its philosophy of why we relay: for the “hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported and that one day cancer will be eliminated,”
Relay is more than a fundraiser. It’s a life-changing event.

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Jennifer Silverstein
Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.