Sunlake Relay for Life chairman Jason Arigoni is on a mission: to build a committee from the bottom up, for an event he hopes continues to grow bigger and better each year.
The Blend Fitness co-owner has been busy putting together a team of volunteers to plan the April 19, 2013, fundraiser, which benefits the American Cancer Society. Though it may seem far down the road, there's a lot that goes into planning for an 18-hour event.
And he's starting from scratch, Arigoni said.
This is Arigoni's first year as the committeee chair. He joined as committee volunteer at the last minute for the 2012 event, and so far there are no returning committee chairs for the 2013 event, he said.
It's been slow and steady filling key positions, which require between 10 and three hours per month, Arigoni said.
It's a rebuilding year for the event, and the team already has a major win under its belt: the event will return to the Sunlake High stadium this year, Arigoni said.
There are two Relay for Life events in Land O' Lakes each year, the other is held at Land O' Lakes High. Last year's Sunlake event was held at Rushe Middle School.
The Sunlake Relay is a newer addition to other, more established events in the Bay area, Arigoni said.
Previous committees were a bit tight-knit, so when one could no longer fill a position, other members were lost as well. Arigoni's plan is to diversity the pool of volunteers and build a solid base that continues to thrive year after year, he said.
Arigoni participated on teams for two years before taking on his new leadership role. Creating an event that draws in plenty of teams—this year's goal is 50—and sponsors is important to him, he said.
The amount of money that goes directly back into reasearch and patient care programs from Relay for Life is higher than other fundraising events, Arigoni said. He also hopes it will be an event the community will rally around—one that brings everyone together and builds relationships among businesses and residents, alike.
But to get there, Arigoni and his team of committee members need lots of help.
There are plenty of ways to get involved, including a couple of key roles that are still available: the marketing/publicity chair position, as well as fundraising chair and operations chair.
Though positions like these tend to require more time, Arigoni said the planning process is fun. Monthly meetings are set up to be more like parties than lectures, he said.
Committee members are not required to fundraise, he said.
Teams also are needed for the relay. A team must raise a total of $100 before the event, regardless of the number of team members. Each team will have its own designated camping spot for the evening, Arigoni said.
Entertainment and activities will take place throughout the night, from kickball games to Zumba. Each team is just asked to keep at least one member walking the track at all times.
'It's a lot of fun," he said.
Teams also can break up the evening into three shifts: 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.; 12 to 6 a.m.; and 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.
"We really encourage teams to break it up into sections," Arigoni said.
See also: Sunlake Relay for Life
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.