A group of FishHawk residents, FishHawk Strong, reached their $30,000 fundraising goal for Relay for Life last month.

A group of FishHawk residents have been working hard to help in the fight against cancer. FishHawk Strong, a Relay For Life team lead by Bob Abruzzese, recently surpassed its $30,000 fundraising goal and is not stopping there.

A local realtor, Abruzzese, began participating in Relay For Life, one of the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising events, in 2011 after losing his mother to pancreatic cancer in 2005.

“I love the Relay For Life event Newsome High School puts on,” he said. “I always see the very best of all the people involved.”

Three years ago, he became serious about fundraising and collected more than $5,000 in three weeks by asking businesses to donate after being featured on the community Facebook page he runs. Last year, he raised more than $10,000 and was named the number one individual fundraiser in Hillsborough County.

“That was great, but now I wanted to do more,” he said. “I decided to get a real team together to run different fundraising events and really push to raise funds.”

He found out that the most money ever raised by a FishHawk team was $27,000, so he set his team’s goal for $30,000.

“I knew that was an extremely high number, but I put together a great team of individuals and businesses, and as the team grew, many more businesses jumped on board with us,” he said.

Through events including a Halloween party, fashion show, bingo night, sports watch parties and monetary donations, the 31-member team reached its goal last month and is hoping to get to $40,000 or even $50,000 by the time fundraising for the event closes in August.

“I hope that someday, with the money we raise, someone will find a cure for this dreaded disease,” said Abruzzese.

To learn more about Relay For Life, see a full story on page 4. FishHawk Strong events are posted regularly on the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/FishHawkStrong and donations can be made at www.FishHawkStrong.com. To join the team, email Abruzzese at fishhawkstrong@yahoo.com.