Thursday, November 27, 2014

Still time to sign up for ‘Relay’

With 16 teams already signed up for this year’s “Relay For Life” here, committee co-chair Jennifer Anderson said there’s still time to join in.
“We always have room for more,” she stressed. “It’s not too late to put a team in.

“If anybody is sitting around thinking that they should do it, but it’s too late, it’s not.
“We’ll always take more,” she said.
The “Relay,” set for June 20-21 at Fort Frances High School, is an inspirational, non-competitive, 12-hour overnight fundraiser that brings people and their communities together to celebrate life and fight cancer.
The event features a festival-like atmosphere that family, friends, and co-workers can enjoy regardless of their age or fitness level.
It involves teams of 10 people who take turns walking, running, or strolling around a track.
Teams consist of people representing businesses, communities, families, and friends.
“We are really excited about this year’s ‘Relay,’” Anderson enthused.
She noted they’re looking at a few changes this year, such as hosting the survivors’ dinner on-site so they can participate in more of the events.
It will be held in the high school cafeteria and catered by local chef Ryan Parisien.
“They don’t have to do the dinner and walk the lap,” Anderson noted. “Survivors can partake in as much as they wish.
“It’s just a way for us to recognize why we do this,” she reasoned, saying it fits right into this year’s theme, which is “Remember. Celebrate. Fight Back.”
“These are the words on the ‘Relay’ flags every year,” Anderson explained.
“What we’re doing is asking the teams to tell us why they ‘Relay,’” she said. “Do they ‘Relay’ for someone who is currently fighting cancer? Do they ‘Relay’ in memory of someone?
“Are they celebrating someone’s victory over cancer?
“We’d like them to really personalize it this year and tell us their story.”
Anderson conceded carnival and movie themes can be really fun, but organizers want to focus this year on the purpose behind the event.
“Some people were concerned we were getting too competitive,” she admitted. “So we’re taking it back to the roots and refocusing on why we do it.”
And Anderson said some teams already have embraced the theme.
“They are telling their story in different ways,” she explained. “Some are decorating around a personal favourite hobby or passion.
“Some are doing banners and different things with pictures of the person they are ‘Relaying’ for.
“Some are keeping it quiet so it will be really interesting to see how they take that and make it their own,” Anderson added.
“You can go almost anywhere with it.”
The event will get underway with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m., followed by the “Survivor’s Lap” at 7 p.m.
“We’ve got lots of exciting things going on,” Anderson enthused. “We’re doing a talent show so if anybody is interested in coming out and showcasing their talents, they can get in touch with me.”
She said people don’t have to be participating in the “Relay For Life” in order to be in the talent show.
“If you just want to come out and sing a song, or do a skit, or even hula-hoop, they are more than welcome to,” she remarked, though stressing they need to get in touch with her ahead of time.
Anderson added the teams also will have plenty going on.
“There will be on-site fundraisers, food for sale, and activities,” she noted.
“So it’s always lots of fun to come and check it out.”
One fundraiser being done by the “Relay” committee is having bracelets made in the “Relay” colours.
“They are $3 a bracelet and when you buy one, your name goes in to win a 31-inch TV donated by Leon’s and NCDS,” Anderson said.
The bracelets are available at NCDS, Leon’s, and Gillons’, as well as from committee members.
Anderson said the goal for this year’s “Relay For Life” is $75,000, with every dollar raised over $55,000 going to the Riverside Foundation for Health Care as part of their partnership.
“We’re in year three of five for the partnership,” she noted.
“It’s always good to have that number and keep it in mind because it helps programs here.
“We’ve given them over $70,000 already in the last two years,” Anderson added, noting it has helped with programs, equipment, and training locally.
Anderson admitted their target isn’t quite as high as last year, when 18 teams raised $83,000.
“We are aware with the mill [closing] that this year might have some challenges,” she remarked.
“But we certainly appreciate every dollar that’s given.”
Anderson also noted luminaries are available at a number of locations, and also will be on-site.
The luminary ceremony typically takes place around 10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.relayforlife.ca or call Anderson at 276-4594.

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