It’s a one-night event, but it takes months and months of planning. And this year, organizers say the Sunlake Relay for Life is going to be “the event” of 2013.
“We are working hard to make this a huge party to bring the community together for a great cause,” committee chairman Jason Arigoni said. “We have utilized one of our corporate sponsors to hire a professional entertainment company. This will bring a professional stage, with top of the line audio equipment, an activity coordinator and a professional DJ. “
The April 19 fundraising event, which benefits the American Cancer Society, will also feature activities for children such as bounce houses and face painting. The 18-hour party also will feature plenty of fun for the adults, including Zumba and Mr. Relay.
This is Arigoni's first year as the committee chair. He joined as a volunteer at the last minute for the 2012 event, and built a new team for 2013 with no returning committee members.
The new committee’s enthusiasm and commitment to the cause are paying off.
“So far we have sponsorships from several major corporations that total almost the amount that the total relay raised last year,” Arigoni said.
Still, he said, to make the event the best it can be—and raise the most money possible for the American Cancer Society—they need all the help they can get.
"We are making a lot of progress on our goals, but we also have a long way to go," Arigoni said. “There is a need and a position for any amount of time and resources that an individual may have to offer.”
Organizers expect to see a large spike in team sign-ups this month, now that the holidays are over. Teams can be created by anyone and may be a business, networking group, or just a bunch of friends coming together for a great cause, Arigoni said.
Let Patch save you time. Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
The core of the relay is still based around community involvement, which is best illustrated by the number of teams and participants engaged in the relay, Arigoni said. “This is the area where we can still use the most help.”
Volunteers also are working to make contact with caregivers and survivor groups in the area.
In addition to volunteers and relay team participants, sponsorship opportunities also are available in various price ranges,
Target, Republic National Distributing and Pepsi, The Prestige Wine Group, Frito-Lay, and Rasmussen College are among the major sponsors so far, Arigoni said.
“We are always looking for more sponsors, and would love to see some of our local businesses to get involved. “
Sunlake Relay for Life will host a team party at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Vallartas, 22948 State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes.
Attending would be a great way to learn more about getting involved, Arigoni said.