Team Top Gun, which has consistently been one of the top Relay for Life fundraising teams in South Florida, wants to outdo itself this year.
“We raised $40,000 last year,” said John Gillooly, team captain and Coral Springs Relay for Life co-chairman from 2008 to 2010. “I am sure we are going to raise more money this year.”
The team is hoping for a significant turnout at the fifth annual Chair Affair and Gala, a fundraising event that will start at 7 p.m. on April 10. The venue is Plaza del Lago at Heron Bay in Parkland. Apart from taking part in the auction and enjoying the food and music, participants will also get a chance to meet Kristi Krueger, TV news co-anchor, and have photos taken with her.
“We raised $13,800 from the chair affair last year,” said Gillooly, whose wife RuthAnn died of cancer in 2012 after fighting the disease for 22 years. “This year, our goal is to raise $40,000 in one night. It is realistic. The proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.”
Up for grabs at the live auction will include seven chairs of art, works on canvas by local artists and holiday packages to five resorts. “At one point of time, we had 18 chairs,” Gillooly said. “This year, we decided to bring in some variety. The community has been very supportive over the years; I’m sure we will have a good turnout this year, as well.”
Among those helping Gillooly is Tina Recchi, former Ramblewood Middle School principal. “There are so many people trying to raise money for cancer that you have to come up with creative ways,” she said. “That is exactly what John has done. I know RuthAnn; we used to teach at Ramblewood Middle. She was very passionate about supporting the efforts to find a cure for cancer.”
Recchi lost her mother and husband to cancer. “My mother died when she was 49. My husband died due to pancreatic cancer two years after he was diagnosed. When you lose somebody you love to a disease, you try to help others live longer.”
The Relay for Life of Coral Springs will take place from noon to midnight on April 25 at Coral Springs High School. The event has grown over the years, both in terms of turnout and the money raised.
Plaza del Lago at Heron Bay is located at 11535 Osprey Trail in Parkland. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 954-334-4622 for tickets and for details
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