The annual Relay for Life of Cape Coral, a local fund-raiser to benefit the American Cancer Society, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Mariner High School on Chiquita Boulevard.
Organizers are busy dotting the Is and crossing the Ts to make this the biggest relay ever.
After the last two years, where rain all but washed out one event and the threat of rain kept people home for another, a good forecast has organizers confident they can reach their fundraising goals.
"We've had some bad twists the last couple years with the rain, but we're hoping for a great turnout this year," said Moe Taylor, the community representative for the event.
Organizers are shooting for up to 45 teams and $135,000 this year. So far, 34 teams have signed up, with a few more expected to participate the day of the event.
"There are fewer teams, but we're going into the event with about $90,000," Taylor said. "We always get folks who come in and have done fundraisers in the past couple weeks and sitting in money. We usually bring in between $20,000 and $40,000 the day of because of the different fundraisers they do."
Last year's event attracted 38 teams that raised approximately $118,000.
Opening ceremonies will kick off at 3 p.m. Saturday, with lots of activities for people of all ages throughout the event.
That is followed by a survivor lap and a caregiver lap and a survivor and caregiver reception, with Bonefish Grill supplying the food.
"It's a chance for the survivors and caregivers to come out and eat and have fun," Taylor said.
At around nightfall, there will be a check presentation of $37,000 by Tony Ray Hurley of Iberia Bank, whose group "Mardi Bras and Boxers" did a gala to support the relay.
That will be followed by an Illuminari ceremony where walkers light purple and white candles to commemorate those who lost their battle with cancer and those who survived.
The big draw is the Ms. Relay pageant that happens at 11 p.m., when a man from each team dresses as a woman and participates in a beauty pageant.
Bill Johnson brought in a DJ and six local bands, A200, Smack Daddy, Mist, Groove Alliance, The Oysters and Carnival of Souls, who will perform throughout the night.
Teams will also sell food and desserts for donations, and there may be a raffle here and there for gift baskets or companies involved to offer services.
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event and is as much an awareness raiser as it is a fundraiser.
The relay is 18 hours long and there is a $100 commitment fee per team. While each team sets its own individual fundraising goal, each participant is asked to raise at least $100..
For more information about Relay for Life of Cape Coral, contact the local office of the American Cancer Society at 936-1113, ext. 3904, or visit their Web site at: www.relayforlife.org/capecoralfl.