Event scheduled April 30

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 25, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE-According to the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, their signature fund-raising event, raised more than $300 million in 2004.

The purple flags seen around downtown LaPlace confirms it’s about that time to do it again.

Bobbie Zaidain, Relay for Life co-chair, and her husband Victor, donated all the materials to make the flags in order to bring attention to the upcoming fundraiser, which takes place at the Joe Keller Memorial Stadium at East St. John Elementary School on Saturday, April 30.

The Zaidain’s, whose two oldest daughters, Laura and Christine are cancer survivors, have been involved in Relay for Life and will supply dinner to the 200 expected cancer survivors at the fundraiser.

The relay kicks off at 5 p.m. and lasts all night. Teams of eight to 15 people are formed from businesses, clubs, families or other organizations. The teams take turns walking the track and raising money for the cause.

According to Bobby Zaidain, the event includes silent auctions, raffles and a food art competition.

“Food that’s as artsy as you can get it, and still be edible,” she said.

Around 9 p.m., a luminaria ceremony is held to honor those who lost their battle with cancer as well as those who have survived.

Zaidain said that the teams keep themselves awake throughout the night with a mixed bag of fun activities, geared toward participators of all ages.

“We got to give them something to do, we can’t just stand around and look at each other,” she said, laughing, “We have a volleyball tournament, a scavenger hunt; we have so much we do I can’t even think of it all right now.”

Zaidain also said the teams are required to stay all night, but those not on teams that want to show support are more than welcome to stay as long as they would like.

Midnight is the last call for money, where all donated funds are counted.

“We do that so when we leave at 5 a.m., we can announce which team was first place and which was second place so we can reward them.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and it is estimated by the American Cancer Society that 1.3 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2005.

The organization also recognizes the St. John Parish Relay for Life, as boasting the most survivor participation in the Greater New Orleans area.

For information on participating or donating, call Bobby Zaidain at (985) 652-5672 or the American Cancer Society, Greater New Orleans office at 504-469-0021.