There is nothing Cheri Donohue likes more than large get-togethers with family and friends.
So, with the help of scores of supporters, she is hosting a street fair of sorts. Everyone in the community is invited to come out and be part of a party with a purpose.
So far, 30 teams with a total of 242 participants have signed on and raised $24,196. Donohue’s goal is 35 teams toward a goal of $123,000. Last year’s participants raised $117,480.62.
All money raised during Temple Terrace’s 10th annual event will be used fund research and education as well as promote advocacy.
“We have been wildly successful for nine years which puts a lot of pressure on the teams to raise more money each year,” she said.
To participate, visit Temple Terrace Relay for Life online.
The 6 p.m. opening ceremonies on April 27 will celebrate cancer survivors, including honorary chairpersons Mayor Joe Affronti and his wife, Liz. They and other survivors also are invited to enjoy a complimentary dinner. To reserve your meal, register at Temple Terrace Relay for Life online.
Steadfast 190, a gospel singing group from the Temple Terrace United Methodist Church, as well as Glee Moms, will be featured during the luminaria ceremony, a solemn 9 p.m. observance in which sand-mounted candles in small paper bags are lighted in honor of family members and friends lost to cancer. With a suggested donation of $5 each, Donohue encourages anyone whose life has been negatively impacted by the death of a loved one due to the disease to place his or her order online in advance of the event.
On a lighter note, party goers will also be invited to partake in some game playing, dancing, and perhaps singing in the Voice of Temple Terrace contest in which the winner will receive two free hours of studio recording time, compliments of Atomic Audio Recording, Redroom Recorders and Morrisound Recording, a Temple Terrace based business.
Throughout the 18-hour event, there is little doubt participants also will be tempted to treat themselves to a variety of eats including hotdogs, barbecue and homemade grilled cheese sandwiches, hot off the grill. Overnighters can even look forward to an early morning pancake breakfast meant to refuel their spirits.
Donohue, who has been involved in the event in some capacity since its inception 10 years ago, said she chose to serve as this year’s chairwoman in honor of her mother, a breast cancer survivor, and in memory of her “wonderful” brother-in-law, who died last year due to cancer.
“This relay will be the first anniversary of his death, and I can’t think of a better way to recognize him than to raise my fist to the disease that took him away from us,” she said.
“I also participate because every year I watch as teams of friends raise money by doing everyday things. In their own ways, they, too, are raising a fist to cancer,” Donohue said.
In a joint fundraising effort, the teams are hosting a yard sale on March 24, beginning at 8 a.m., at Terrace Sports, 5311 E. Busch Blvd.
Additionally, Shamrock’s Ale House will donate 10 percent of food and beverage sales on March 22, 5-7 p.m., to relay teams.
For more information about Temple Terrace Relay for Life, call 813-230-3389.