Luxury tour swells cancer fund coffers


Looking not too far down the road, Marco's Hideaway Beach community is on track for a significant milestone in ongoing contributions to the American Cancer Society through the Marco Island Unit.

Think $1 million dollars raised to fight the disease since they started their fundraising efforts just on a decade ago.

In the past, Hideaway Beach has raised money through golf tournaments and casino nights as their main fundraisers, but this year settled on a luxury home tour within their own community, along with a professional style show put on by Saks 5th Ave.

"The response is very good," said resident Myron Rowland of the sold-out affair as he helped ferry people who needed a ride from house to house in his tricked-out golf cart. "This year, we decided to bring in people from the outside."

That translated to 180 women, who visited four luxury homes owned by residents, and afterwards enjoyed a luncheon along with the style show.

The connection for Rowland is more than personal. He's recovering from cancer surgery (after a leg injury revealed the disease), and his wife Tommie chaired this year's committee.

"You develop more patience," the cheerful Rowland said about coping with his own experience of the disease.

Marco ACS unit executive director Lisa Honig enjoyed the outing personally as well as professionally.

"The homes were stunning," she said, in the same breath saying she couldn't thank the organizers enough for their efforts. "It's humbling," she said, adding that numbers are not yet in, but are expected to top $100,000 this time around.

Traditionally, Hideaway Beach holds top contribution spot among the various teams for whom the climax will be the annual Relay for Life on April 18 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Mackle Park. Close behind is the Marriott Resort and also the City of Marco Island, while the rest of the teams all contribute substantially, she said.

Honig said this year's theme for the relay is "One World, One Hope," and teams will select particular countries to showcase for the 12-hour event. Previous themes have been "United Against Cancer," and "A World of Hope."