Fundraiser Brings Family and Friends Together

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Friday nights in the lower level cantina of the VFW Post 8890 on the border of East Moline usually brings out a few familiar faces to unwind from the work week with a few drinks, songs from the jukebox, and even some laughs.  On Friday, July 18 a perfect blend of music courtesy of the Mocambo’s Dave Navarro’s CD collection was heard throughout, people munched on crunchy tacos, and the place was packed with “Familia Cervantes y Amigos” all having a great time for a very serious cause.

The Cervantes family and their friends held their annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society as part of their involvement in the Relay for Life.  The Relay for Life consists of teams of families and organizations taking part in an overnight relay around a track in communities all across the nation.  Since Cancer does not sleep, teams camp out overnight and members take turns having someone at the track at all times.  According to the Relay for Life website about 3.5 million people take part in the relays; some run, some walk, some even push strollers along the track.

It is the American Cancer Society’s flagship event that helps raise awareness about cancer, raise funds for cancer research, and remembers friends and family members who have been affected by cancer. 

Rosanne Cervantes brought the idea up to her siblings about getting involved with the Relay for Life after their mother lost her battle against cancer.   The disease also claimed the life of their sister Patty.  

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“We try to express to folks that cancer can affect everybody, it’s affected our family,” Charles Cervantes said.  “Cancer has no boundaries as far as race, sex, or financial status.”

The teams are encouraged to organize separate fundraisers with a monetary goal.  The family has had separate fundraisers for the past 5 years at the VFW and has taken part in the relay for over 10 years.   Their sister Carmen Sandoval was the main organizer of the fundraiser VFW and says she is very thankful to everybody that helped out.  With the sale of food, raffles, and auctions they were able to raise over $1,400 from the fundraiser but were still short of their $2,000 team goal. 

They will take part in the Relay for Life at the Black Hawk College track in Moline, 6600 34th Ave., on Friday, August 1st at 4 p.m. until the next day.  They invite those who want to join their team “Familia Cervantes y Amigos” to show up at the track or if interested in donating to their fundraising efforts please call Carmen at (309) 755-4171.

For more information log on to the Relay for Life’s website at www.relayforlife.org.

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