Editor's Note: This report is part of the News Bulletin's ongoing series on cancer research fundraisers. The newspaper is proud to support Relay For Life Crestview, which will take place 6 p.m. April 25 at Shoal River Middle School.
CRESTVIEW — The local American Cancer Society Relay For Life now has an extra $800 following "The Mystery of Red Leg the Dreaded, Pirate of the Gulf," a Friday fundraiser.
The Duke It Out team raised $843 from Act4Murder's pirate-themed dinner theatre at Foxwood Country Club. Relay team members dressed as pirates and served guests a three-course meal during the performance. Many of the 59 attendees went home with door prizes, and all attempted to solve "whodunit."
Crestview's Relay For Life effort comprises 35 teams, according to its website. Duke It Out, which includes retired and current civil service employees at Duke Field on Eglin Air Force Base, has been a participant for 14 years, event organizer Laurie Klausutis said.
The cause is close to her heart.
"Unfortunately, I have lost two grandmothers, a great uncle and some very close friends to cancer, and I have some friends that are battling it right now," she said. "I do it for them."
For the past 10 years, Duke It Out has raised an average of $10,000 for the ACS, Relay Co-Chair Loney Whitley said.
The team schedules Boston butt and cookie dough sales, yard sales and other events, all leading up to each Relay For Life, when people walk a track and participate in other activities all night long to commemorate people touched by cancer.
Act4Murder's professional actors said they enjoy entertaining for worthy causes.
"We always love doing fundraisers," Mary Ann Troiano, who portrayed Pillage Ann Freebooty, said. "We know what it means to the people who have hired us."
In this case, the issue was personal.
"My father died of cancer," she said. "It may have been 14 years ago, but for me it still feels like yesterday."
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Relay For Life
WHEN: Begins at 6 p.m. April 24
WHERE: Shoal River Middle School, 3200 E. Redstone Ave., Crestview