Parrsboro's seventh Relay for Life is Friday at the Lions Arena. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. and wrap up at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
AMHERST – Everyone has a reason for joining the fight against cancer.
Residents in the Parrsboro area will come together on Friday night for the community’s seventh annual Relay for Life fundraiser, hoping to build on a total that has exceeded $150,000 since its inception.
“We’re pretty much ready to go. There are a few odds and ends to put together, but we have 11 teams and plenty of events for the 12 hours,” relay organizing committee co-chair Barb Tennant said. “We’re looking forward to another successful relay. It’s going to be a night of memories, but there will also be some smiles and friendships renewed.”
Events begin at 7 p.m. at the Parrsboro Lions Arena and continue until 7 a.m. The public is invited to attend the festivities between 7 and 11 p.m.
The night begins with the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. with messages from the Canadian Cancer Society’s district co-ordinator Sharon Bristol and Parrsboro Mayor Lois Smith.
The Survivors Walk will follow the opening ceremonies while there will be a luminary ceremony around dusk.
Survivor is the theme of this year’s Relay for Life event and there will be numerous Survivor-based games throughout the night.
Last year’s event raised about $27,000 and organizers are hoping to match or exceed that total this year.
Committee co-chair and Parrsboro’s recreation director Tissy Bolivar said the Parrsboro event may be smaller than other events, such as Amherst’s (which raised in excess of $132,000 last weekend) she said it’s something for the community to proud of.
“There is anyone in this community, or any community, that hasn’t been touched by cancer,” Bolivar said. “That’s what keeps people coming out and the fact this little town has raised as much as it has over the years is reason to be proud of living in Parrsboro. This event really brings the community together.”
Bolivar said the committee has been very impressed with the number of young people participating in the relay. She said this speaks volumes for the future of Relay for Life.
For many participants taking part in the relay is personal. Tennant’s said it was her daughter that got her involved in the relay and the memory of her brother, who died of cancer about 10 years ago, also pushes her to participate.
“This is something we have to do because we have to continue to fight cancer,” Tennant said. “Every single person at this relay and in this community knows someone who has fought cancer or has lost their battle to cancer. That’s why we do this every year.”
Publicity chairwoman Lisa Ward said the teams have been fundraising for a year to prepare for this year’s relay. She said they have been holding yard sales, raffles, a five-kilometre run and online auction, while they also sold Vessey’s Seeds.
Ward said one team, Ron Levy’s Groundbreakers has been selling prints of an Inuksuk with the northern lights in the background.
Luminaries will be on sale during the night of the relay leading up to the lighting ceremony, while committee members are also selling them in the community.