By Kate Quesada

Brandon residents have an opportunity to have fun while helping fight cancer this month as the annual Relay for Life takes place at Brandon High School.

On Saturday, April 8, students and community members will join teams to walk, camp and participate in fun activities to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

According to the event lead and committee member, Meredith Tucker, 27 teams have already signed up to participate in the event, which has a Disney theme this year and is hoping to raise $20-25,000.

The event begins at 4 p.m. with Opening Ceremonies to honor those who have fought cancer and after that, teams are encouraged to have at least one member walking the track at all times to signify the fact that cancer never sleeps. Unlike most other Relays, this event will end at 12 Midnight.

“We will have tons of fun themes laps, activities and awesome food lined up for this event,” said Tucker.
During the times participants are not walking the track they will be able to join in a large number of other activities planned including a Zumba class, frozen t-shirt contest and Mr. Relay competition. Some events will have small costs with all funds going to the cause.

“We encourage the community to get involved by attending the event and supporting the fundraisers that will take place there,” said Tucker. “We really need the community to come out and support to help raise money the day of the event.”

One of the highlights of Relay for Life events for participants is the Luminaria Ceremony which will take place at 9 p.m.

“During the Luminaria Ceremony we honor survivors and remember those who have lost their battle with cancer,” said Relay for Life Community Manager Samantha Schneider. “It is a time to grieve for those we have lost, to reflect on our own or loved ones cancer experience and to find hope that tomorrow holds the promise of a cancer-free world.”

The tracks go dark during the ceremony and bags can be purchased and decorated the day of the event.
Money raised at the event goes to the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer and the Hope Lodge which assists cancer patients from out of the area receiving treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Residents are encouraged to sign up to participate in either event at www.relayforlife.org, but the community is also encouraged to come out to support the fundraisers at the events, even if they are not part of a team.
The events will take place at Brandon High School track, 1011 Victoria St. in Brandon.