Relay celebrates life

Robert Swearingen, of Bradenton, left, a sarcoma survivor, watches the opening ceremonies at Relay for Life at Coquina Beach May 19 with co-workers from the Crab Trap in Palmetto, including caregivers Zanna Sammartino of St. Petersburg and Ann Sommer and her children, Lizzie and Aiden, of Ellenton. Islander Photos: Kathy Prucnell

Mayor Mike Selby proclaims May 19 “Power of Purple Day” to Coquina Beach some 250 Relay for Life sponsors, survivors, caregivers and team members. With him on stage are committee member Marlene Podguis, left, cancer survivor Kathy Hood, Bradenton Beach Commissioner Gay Breuler and Relay For Life advocacy chair Nancy Ambrose. Approximately $33,000 was raised from the event, according to Ambrose. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

Anna Maria Island Privateers join the Relay for Life at Coquina Beach May 19, including from left, Tim “Hammer” Thompson, Ronald “Candyman” Fisher, Dee “Patch” Lonergan, Kathy “Longlocks” Griffenkranz, friend Sarah and Cindy “Bubbles” Shealy-Swager.

Relay for Life committee members rally the troops at the start the 18-hour event at Coquina Beach. The 29 teams were asked to keep a member on the track 1 p.m. May 19  until 7 a.m. May 20 to illustrate “cancer doesn’t sleep.”

Cancer survivors take the first lap May 19 at Relay For Life while a young man, with a young man wearing a Blake Medical Center T-shirt looks on. Blake and Miller Electric were two of the relay’s major sponsors. The event benefits the American Cancer Society. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell