Organizers say it’s the perfect time and place to let your emotions run free.
They are referring to the New Tampa Relay for Life slated to take place May 17 to 18 at Freedom High School, 17410 Commerce Park Blvd.
During the 18-hour annual event to raise money to support the programs and services of the American Cancer Society, youngsters and seniors alike are encouraged to engage in the laughing, the crying and the creation of lasting memories with friends, family and co-workers.
Opening ceremonies will get under way at 6 p.m. followed by a survivors’ lap in which cancer survivors and their caretakers will walk one lap around the track field. A complimentary dinner for them will follow.
Throughout the evening, various teams will sell dinner and snack items to participants from the tents they’ve pitched for their overnight stay. The sale is another way to raise funds.
Also, there will be a host of activities and entertainment into the late night hours to keep up the spirit of the event.
At 9 p.m., there’s a luminaria ceremony in which brown paper bags bearing the names of people who died from the disease, filled with sand and candles, are lighted along the track.
Chairman Tom Gruber and co-chair Lesley Zajac are spearheading this year’s event, which has a goal of $125,000. Last year’s New Tampa Relay raised $115,000.
“We’re trying for 60 teams but we’re only partway there,” Gruber said.
The campaign’s ultimate belief is that every dollar raised gets scientists closer to curing the disease.
“We’ve got many groups participating from various neighborhoods but we’d like more,” Gruber said. “We’re also hoping to get more high school teams involved.”
Visit www.relayforlife.org/newtampafl for more information and to register or call ACS community representative Michelle Rossi at (813) 319-5917.