By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -- Fundraising efforts are kicking off this weekend for the world's largest cancer-fighting event: Relay for Life.
The 12-hour, overnight events takes place all over the world including in Hobe Sound on April 5-6, Jensen Beach on April 11-12, Stuart on May 3-4, and St. Lucie West on May 16-17. It's a time for the community to come together and celebrate with those who have successfully battled cancer, remember those they've lost, and fight to find a cure by raising money to fund cancer research.
"It's a fantastic celebration with lots of hugs, tears of joy, high energy and passion for the mission of fighting cancer," said Emily Gregory, a Relay for Life Specialist with the American Cancer Society.
At the events, teams that have joined together and raised money beforehand will man booths in hopes of bringing in more monetary support and take turns walking the track to show their solidarity for cancer patients and survivors.
Last year in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties nearly 3,000 people participated and almost $290,000 was raised.
"All of our volunteers really go above and beyond to make Relay an unforgettable experience," Ms. Gregory said.
But whether or not residents plan to participate in any of the area's big events, there are several fundraisers leading up to them that benefit everyone involved.
The first takes place on April 5-6 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. both days: A garage sale hosted by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners' team in Pinecrest Lakes in Jensen Beach.
On April 7 there is a Dine and Donate event at Hurricane Grill and Wings in Palm City. The restaurant will donate a portion of the evening's earnings to the Relay for Life team Cancer Sucks.
Vine and Barley in Palm City will be doing the same during a Sip and Donate event on April 11 starting at 4 p.m.
On April 18 from 5-7 p.m. the team C Change will reap the proceeds from Terra Fermata's "Get Lei'd at Terra Fermata." Tickets are $20 at Terra Fermata and include Limbo, a drink, and live music by the Humdingers afterward.
Carrabba's Italian Grill in Stuart is offering a special meal on April 29. Diners who purchase a meal ticket beforehand can enjoy dinner for $12. Tickets are available from team members or by calling the ACS office at (772) 287-7467.
"Communities can continue to get involved and jump into a Relay event near them today. Sign up a team, join an existing team, sign up if you are a survivor and/or caregiver to be honored at our survivor dinner or just register to come show your support," Ms. Gregory said.
Relay for Life events:
1.Relay For Life of Hobe Sound; April 5-6, from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. at Hobe Sound Karting relayforlife.org/hobesoundfl.
2.Relay For Life of Jensen Beach; April 11-12, from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. at Jensen Beach High School relayforlife.org/jensenbeachfl.
3.Relay For Life of Stuart; May 3-4, from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. at Memorial Park in Downtown Stuart relayforlife.org/stuartfl.
4.Relay For Life of St. Lucie West; May 16-17, from 6 p.m.-8 a.m. at Mets Stadium at Tradition Field relayforlife.org/stluciewestfl.