What is Relay for Life? – As explained by Tammy Austin, sponsorship Chair 2007, “It is a unique event that is more a celebration than a fundraiser. The event recognizes cancer survivors and remembers those who did not survive the fight against cancer during this celebration of life that is enhanced by food, entertainment, and activities for all ages.” It is an overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of the American Cancer Society (ACS). In addition to the actual event, the whole community gets involved. Both businesses and families sponsor and partner with the ACS.
So what is this Purple Pelican and what does he do? As explained in the Miami Shores Relay site, it is a new species of bird — the American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraising bird to be exact. In an effort to raise awareness and rally community support behind the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a unique community event that allows individuals from all walks of life to join in the fight against cancer, the Miami Shores operating committee for the Relay came up with the flight of the Purple Pelican. The inspiration came from Dr. J. Patrick Lee’s opening speech at the Barry University Jubilee Year Assembly titled “Pelican statue symbolizes the sacrifice and care of Adrian Sisters who guide Barry’s progress” and the purple from Relay.
Families donate money to have the Pelican nest on their lawns to show support. I was in charge of finding nesting sites for 2 Pelicans for the month of March and collected $900 in donations. I want to personally thank the following families for their donations: Armbristers, Blocks, Bruces, Burchs, Byrds, Hurleys, Kellers, Paulsens, Pichas, Rotundos, Tenneys, and Velez’. It’s because of selfless efforts like these that we have so many survivors and that the fight will continue to find the cure to such a horrible disease. My own father is a survivor and this effort hits close to home. I encourage all of you to be involved in the event if you ever have the opportunity.