The American Cancer Society's 2013 Relay For Life season in Eastern Hillsborough County wraps up tonight, April 19, at both Armwood and Plant City high schools.
The 2013 Seffner Relay For Life is set to kick off 6 p.m. with at least 20 teams and about 280 registered participants.
The 2013 Plant City Relay For Life is set to kick off 6 p.m. with 67 teams 1,018 participants.
These are the final two Relays for Eastern Hillsborough County, following fundraisers earlier this month and last at Riverview, Newsome, Brandon and Bloomingdale high schools.
According to Sara Vinzant, community representative for the Southeast Hillsborough Unit of the American Cancer Society, the three Relays at Riverview, Newsome and Bloomingdale alone have raised more than $365,000. Throw in the April 6 SouthShore Relay For Life at East Bay High School, and the total tops $450,000.
Relay teams have until August 1 to finish collecting money. That can make a huge difference in proceeds, as evidenced last year in Brandon, where the total rose significantly after Gay Lynn Love, in her successful bid for honorary mayor of Brandon, donated a large porition of her June charity proceeds to the Relay movement.
Last year, the seven relays in Southeastern Hillsborough County collectively raised $938,000.
"People are passionate about the cause and still give," despite a difficult economy, Vinzant said. Where events went soft, as in Brandon, they are rebuilding, she added.
"Cancer affects everybody," Vinzant said. "Cancer is something that affects everybody's life one way or another."
Without the annual Relay For Life movement "we wouldn't be able to do what we do," Vinzant said. The American Cancer Soceity's mission, she added, is "research, education, advocacy and patient services."