Menifee Relay For Life Hits Home

For the past several months thirty seven Menifee area Relay For Life teams have been adamantly rais...

For the past several months thirty seven Menifee area Relay For Life teams have been adamantly raising funds for their May walk weekend.

477 participants and team members will spend their weekend walking the track at Paloma Valley High School to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.

An estimated $46,470 has been fundraised so far by all of the teams, and by next weekend they are expecting to double that figure.

We’ve been following one particular team to mark their progress and get the inside story on why they walk and how they got their team start.

The Banking on a Cure team is a collaborative effort of U.S. Bank of Menifee employees headed by advocate, volunteer, and key coordinator, Mike Castillejos.

Mike started out as a volunteer for Relay For Life several years ago, helping with logistics simply because the mission pulled heavy on his heart. He then learned of an employee of his who was coping with cancer in her family and suddenly the cause hit a little closer to home.

It was then that the Banking on a Cure team began to form. In 2010 Mike’s father was diagnosed with cancer and tragically passed away within six months.

Suddenly, fighting for a cure became a personal mission for Mike. He says of the experience, “(Losing my dad) brought about a whole new meaning as to why I was doing Relay. My main reason was now, let’s find a cure!”

As life would have it, Mike’s mother-in-law was next to face a cancer diagnosis in 2011 and died equally as quickly as his father. Her memorial was held on New Year’s Eve 2011, so the 2012 Relay For Life strikes a sensitive note with the Castillejos family.

Mike says, “The event hits home in all kinds of ways now. The luminaries are a tough ceremony, especially for those who have recently lost a loved one.”

The two-day relay event, scheduled for May 19th through 20th, is a time to honor those who have survived cancer, remember those who lost their fight, and finally look forward with hope to finding a cure.

Thanks to successful fundraisers such as ACE’s Comedy night, the Banking on a Cure team has nearly met their monetary goal and will continue to fundraise up until check-in time on Saturday morning.

This year’s overall theme is Board Games. Banking on a Cure has all kinds of fun things planned including their creative Scrabble themed tee shirts and booth decorations.

The event is open to the public, so even those who are not participating or volunteering are encouraged to come out and experience Relay For Life.

It’s not too late to get involved, to contribute, to donate, or volunteer.

Menifee Relay for Life
Saturday, May 19, 2012-