Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

With mini Relay for Life, Seven Oaks Elementary students join cancer fight

Seven Oaks Elementary second-grader Trent Colin leads the pack doing laps during the mini Relay for Life on Thursday.

SKIP O\u2019ROURKE | Times

Seven Oaks Elementary second-grader Trent Colin leads the pack doing laps during the mini Relay for Life on Thursday.

WESLEY CHAPEL — Most of them thought about winning. Ice cream parties were on the line here. Someone might nab a free T-shirt.

But at least one of the Seven Oaks Elementary students participating in the school's mini version of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life had something else on her mind Thursday.

"I hope it will help my grandma get better from cancer," said Mary Cerra, 8.

Last year, Seven Oaks Elementary School raised more than $10,000 for Relay for Life. This year, the goal is $12,000.

Throughout the year, the school holds raffles and fundraisers. Next month, staff members will put themselves up for auction. The highest bidding students get an afternoon with their favorite teachers.

"I'm not sure why they want to spend time with their teachers out of school, but they do," said Audrey Sebastian, 28, a second-grade teacher and the school's Relay for Life team captain.

Thursday, she cheered and waved a purple pompom each time a student completed a lap.

Seven Oaks is one of many schools, businesses and community organizations participating in the county's nine relays.

Started in 1986, the team events raise money for cancer research, advocacy efforts and early detection and prevention education. Each Relay for Life features a reception for survivors and a luminaria ceremony to honor those who have passed.

Organizers estimate more than 3.5 million people participate worldwide.

Seven Oaks' version of the fundraiser kicked off Monday. Each class took turns rounding the orange cones set up behind the school. Administrators fueled the children's money raising efforts with the promise of class parties and other prizes for the winners.

By Thursday, the students had turned the one-fifth mile path to dirt and raised more than $2,000.

"It's good to help people and help people survive," said Jordyn Beer, 8.

The first official county Relay for Life will be held tonight at Zephyrhills High School. The County Commission dubbed today through May 9, when the final relays end at Sunlake and J.W. Mitchell high schools, as "Relay for Life Season."

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at or (813) 435-7312.

for life

On the Web

To learn more, visit

With mini Relay for Life, Seven Oaks Elementary students join cancer fight 03/26/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2009 8:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Taco and Beer Fiesta set for St. Pete, followed by the Ooze and Booze Fest

    Food & Dining

    The Gulf to Bay Food Truck association recently announced a trio of events for mobile comfort food lovers.

    The big a-- nachos are tortilla chips topped with pulled pork, chili, cheese sauce, salsa, chopped jalenpenos, feta cheese and cilantro sour cream from Maggie on the Move. [Gulf to Bay Food Truck Association]
  2. After monument vote, Confederate activist named to Hillsborough County diversity council


    TAMPA — Moments after Hillsborough County commissioners made uncertain a previous decision to move Tampa's Confederate monument, they voted to put the area's most vocal advocate of Confederate causes on a citizen committee to promote diversity. 

    David McCallister won a spot on Hillsborough County's Diversity Advisory Council on Wednesday.
  3. Prisoner escapes from Hernando County landfill


    BROOKSVILLE — An inmate has escaped from a Hernando County landfill where he and two other inmates were assigned to a work detail, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

    Joshua Holmes, 35, escaped while working at a Hernando landfill. [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Mayor of historic African-American city endorses Chris King for governor


    The mayor of Eatonville, a town near Orlando that was incorporated in 1887 as one of America's first all-black cities, today endorsed Winter Park businessman Chris King for governor. Mayor Eddie Cole said he has seen King's character first hand:

    Eddie Cole
  5. For starters: Rays at Jays, looking for some carryover


    The six runs and 13 hits the Rays posted on Tuesday were a positive, but the true test if they are out of their historically bad hitting slump will come tonight and in the coming days as they try to build on their success.

    "Hopefully,'' manager Kevin Cash said after Tuesday's 6-4 win, "there is a …

    Daniel Robertson is expected to make a third straight start tonight, likely at shortstop.