Relay for Life kickoff set for Tuesday

Felicia Solazzo, Staff Writer

The Relay for Life team has scheduled a student kick-off party after school Tuesday in the cafeteria. Each year, more than 4 million people in more than 20 countries take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

“The Relay kick-off party will include an American Cancer Society event overview from Marty Mercado, American Cancer Society Representative,” Leigh Solazzo, West Shore Relay co-chair, said. “Vimarie Monopoli, Melbourne Relay Event chair, will provide information on the activities being planned for the participants.”

The Melbourne Relay for Life event will be held at West Shore from 5 p.m. on May 4 to 6 a.m. on May 5. Students must raise $50 in order to stay the night. Students who raise a minimum of $100 are eligible to receive a free American Cancer Society Relay T-shirt.

“The purpose of the kick-off party is to get students excited about the event, highlight the team goals, distribute sign-up forms and start fundraising,” Solazzo said.

Free pizza and cake will be served to students who attend the kick-off party.

Senior Shawn McKeefery has participated in Relay for Life since he was in seventh grade. He encourages all students to take part in the event.

“I used to walk [at Relay] for distant family and close friends or their parents,” McKeefery said. “Then in August of 2011, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and now I also walk for him.”