christina_austin-valere_dreema_stokes_web.jpgOAKLAND PARK — Family, friends, caregivers, cancer survivors and others will gather for a celebration of hope at this year’s Relay For Life of HOPE/Oakland Park benefiting the American Cancer Society on Friday, April 27 at 6 p.m. at Jaco Pastorius Park, 1098 N.E. 40th Ct.

Relay For Life is the nationwide signature event for the American Cancer Society as communities across the globe come together to help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays in a way that is celebratory and fun.

In recognition that cancer never sleeps, teams of eight to 15 people will camp out overnight at the event with the goal of keeping one representative on the track at all times throughout the evening.  Participants will show their spirit for this year’s “One Nation, One Cure” theme, with each team representing one of the 50 states while enjoying food, music, entertainment, games and moving ceremonies.

“Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, either through their own personal battle or through someone they love,” said Chairperson Maureen Mann, executive director of the Michael & Bienes Comprehensive Cancer Center at Holy Cross and a board member for the American Cancer Society’s Florida Division and local Broward County chapter. “This is a great opportunity for us to gather and honor cancer patients and survivors and at the same time raise much needed funds for research.”

Mann leads the committee that meets several times a month to organize fundraisers, obtain sponsorships, discuss social media opportunities and determine goals for the event.

“With all of the fundraising we’ve already done, we are well on our way to reaching our goal of $35,000.  Our main focus now is to recruit more volunteers, teams and anyone wanting to make a difference, as we can use all the help we can get to ensure the success of our journey,” said Mann. 

Relay For Life of HOPE/Oakland Park Gold Sponsors are Holy Cross Hospital and the Medical Staff of Holy Cross Hospital, and other sponsors include American National Bank and Broward Health Imperial Point Medical Center.

For more information on volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, becoming a committee member, team captain or registering for a team, visit relayforlife.org/hopefl and http://www.facebook.com/HOPEOP or call the American Cancer Society at 954-564-0880.

Photo: COURTESY OF RELAY FOR LIFE

Dr. Christina Austin-Valere, clinical oncology social worker, Holy Cross Hospital; Dreema Stokes, staff partner of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of HOPE/Oakland Park.