The fifth annual Boca Grande Relay for Life fundraiser will try to extend the momentum this American Cancer Society fundraiser has built since 2008 but it will have to do it with fewer teams.
It's ironic that this year's theme is "Teaming Up Against Cancer."
Still, it's expected that more than 100 islanders will walk around a grassy oval all night long Saturday, March 24, and well into the morning Sunday, March 25, while raising money to beat cancer.
The McHugh Porter team, once one of the top Boca Grande Relay for Life fundraisers, from left: Carla Farzati, Michael Brock, Cindy Trezona, Pamela Potter, Betty McHugh, Ellen Donahy and Sue Killion.
Only 11 teams have registered this year, according to the American Cancer Society website, down from 13 a year ago.
Three years ago, Boca Grande Relay for Life raised $23,000 and in 2010 it was $54,000 after expenses.
Debbie Frybarger of the American Cancer Society said Boca Grande's success in raising money to fight cancer comes from its community closeness.
What: Fifth annual Boca Grande Relay for Life fundraiser
When: 3 p.m. Saturday, March 24, until 9 a.m. Sunday, March 25
Where: at the old soccer field off Seventh Street
Why: To raise money for cancer research
Contact: Kris Boyden, (941) 441-6470
A Friday walk through is scheduled so team members can familiarize themselves with the layout at the old soccer field off Seventh Street. The 18-hour 2012 Relay for Life fund-raiser for American Cancer Society begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at Seventh Street Park and ends at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Despite the lengthy overnight schedule, Relay for Life is not a marathon. Rules are one person on each team should be walking leisurely around the track at all times. Competing teams all have different ways to make money, including online collections, cakewalks, cornhole games, bake sales and a talent contest.
The cause is beating cancer, which remains the second-leading cause of death for Americans behind only heart disease.
The top three cancer killers for women are breast (27 percent), lung and bronchus (14 percent) and colon and rectum (10 percent).
For men, it's prostate (25 percent), lung and bronchus (15 percent) and colon and rectum (10 percent).