After months of preparation, The Relay for Life season kicked off during the weekend of March 3-4 on Fort Myers Beach behind DiamondHead Beach Resort & Spa. With 16 teams onsite and hundreds of volunteers and participants, the Beach is close to reaching their goal of $85,000. As of the end of the Pirate-themed event on Sunday morning, approximately $75,000 was collected, but fundraising isn't over until the goal is reached! This group is determined to put an end to cancer!
The day started with an opening ceremony and the National Anthem was sung by Town Manager Terry Stewart, followed by a Survivor and Caregiver Lap and then concluding with a Survivor Luncheon provided by DiamondHead Beach Resort & Spa. After the conclusion of the opening ceremony and committee introductions the fun began! Activities throughout the course of the 18-hour event included crab races, Zumba, a performance by the Hot Flash Dancers, Scavenger Hunt, Best Pirate Costume Contest, Silent Auction, water balloon toss, bags competition and so much more!
After hours of preparing for The Luminaria Ceremony, at 8 p.m. the track was lined with candlelit bags representing survivors, caregivers and loved ones who were taken by cancer. In the center of the track the word "Cure" was spelled out representing exactly what each and everyone one of the participants were there for working tirelessly to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Into the wee hours of the morning, Pirates of the Caribbean movies were played for those brave enough to stay awake for all 18 hours of the event. The event wrapped up Sunday morning fairly quickly due to stormy weather, but that was no challenge for those still out on the track.
Candlelit bags representing survivors, caregivers and loved ones succumbed by cancer spelled out “CURE” at Relay for Life Fort Myers Beach.
SunStream Hotels & Resorts was proud to be the presenting sponsor for the event as well as the host location for the second year in a row. "With a company of almost 500 employees, many of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another. Many staff members have been caregivers, are survivors or have lost a loved one. It's close to all of our hearts and that is why we have agreed to be the sponsor as well as support the event by sitting on the Committee that helps make the event a success," said Michelle Phillips, SunStream employee and Activities & Entertainment Chair and Online Chair for the Fort Myers Beach Relay for Life.
All in all, the first of 19 Relay For Life events in the South Gulf Coast area was a huge success and the bar has been set and the excitement has started! Participants, Committee Members and Staff members are committed to "Making Cancer Walk the Plank" this Relay season!