A dinner theater performance and buffet dinner fundraiser was held at The Regent in Riverview on Oct. 3 to benefit the 2013 Seffner Relay For Life at Armwood High School.
There, Andrea Bearry, the chair of next year's overnight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, said she has high hopes the Seffner Relay For Life will meet its goal of signing on 50 teams and raising $75,000.
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Last year's Greater Seffner Relay For Life raised more than $50,000, which is a remarkable feat for a Relay that at one time had almost closed, because of the great effort it took to raise what in comparison were low funds compared to other Tampa Bay area Relay events.
But Seffner now is a force to be reckoned with, given last year's draw at the first time the event has ever been held at a high school. In previous years, the Seffner fundraiser was held at Burnett Middle School.
Bearry said she his is her fifth year affiliated with the Seffner Relay and that she remembers the times the event raised less than or just more than $10,000. Previous reports put last year's count at around $35,000, but more money was raised by the Sept. 1 deadline set by the American Cancer Society.
"I'm very proud of our community," Bearry said. "We've come a very long way in a very short time."
To go the distance even further a Relay kickoff is scheduled for Oct. 16 at Armwood High School. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the school's cafeteria.
There will be good news to report following the Oct. 3 fundraiser at The Regent in Riverview, which drew a large crowd to a buffet dinner and entertainment provided by Stagedoor Performing Arts.
Carol Marden, who spoke at last year's Greater Seffner Relay For Life, helped institute and organize the dinner theater fundraiser.
Is she a cancer survivor?
"I'm working on it," she said. "My message to the people is the worst time is when you are diagnosed."
But "we're left for a reason, if we survive," she added, so "live each day like yesterday is history, today is a gift and tomorrow is a mystery, just have a purpose."
Her purpose, she said, is to tend to the caregiver needs of her ailing husband, a Vietnam veteran, and to give back to the community.
"I just felt that if I could help somebody else get through [cancer] I would like to do that," she said. "I really want people to know they need all the support they can get and that with family, friends and faith they can get through it."