Relay for Life organizers hosting information session
© Darrell Cole - Cumberlandnewsnow.com
Terry LeFurgey Lewis (left), Sheila Christie (centre) and Sharon Bristol look over plans for this year’s 11th Relay for Life in June. An information session is being held Feb. 25 at Amherst town hall to discuss the 2014 relay.
AMHERST – Preparations for the 11th Relay for Life are set to begin.
Organizers are holding an information session on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Amherst town hall to discuss the 2014 event and some of the changes that are being made.
There will be an opportunity to register survivors, teams and volunteers interested in taking part in the June 7 event at the Robb Centennial Complex.
“It’s amazing how the relay continues to grow each year,” organizing committee chairwoman Sheila Christie said. “There are many of the same people coming back year after year, but each year there are also a lot of new families who are all participating for a variety of reasons.”
This year’s edition of the relay will run from 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 until 1 a.m. on Sunday, June 8. The event will be open to the public after 4 p.m. with the survivors’ walk, official opening and luminary ceremony taking place at their regular times.
There will be a focus on increasing the survivor engagement, hosting team exclusive activities and events and encouraging smaller family-based teams.
As well, there will be an increase in children’s and team activities throughout the day and evening.
Since announcing in November that the relay would no longer be an overnight event, Christie said the response has been favourable. She said many of the teams from previous years favoured a switch in the hours.
To date there are 14 teams registered.
“Relay for Life is the largest fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society and the biggest impact has been in survival rates among cancer patients,” district co-ordinator Sharon Bristol said. “When we invest in research we find better techniques, better ways to detect cancer, better ways to treat cancer and higher survival rates. When we raise money through Relay for Life in our community it benefits everyone in our community.”
Since its inception, the relay has raised $1.3 million locally. Last year’s 10th relay raised $169,000 locally, while more than 16,000 teams raised $46.5 million nationally at 487 events.
Bristol said the relay also creates awareness all year in how they can fight cancer, how they can prevent cancer and how they can work as a community against the disease.
Terry LeFurgey Lewis said there’s a simple reason the relay is so popular.
“Everyone is touched by cancer. You can’t find someone who hasn’t been touched,” she said.
Bristol said it’s more than a fundraiser, it’s a community event to celebrate survival and to do something about cancer.