| Apr 05, 2007


Feature Article - April 5, 2007

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Feature Article - April 5, 2007

Relay forLife

Cancer never sleeps. But we don't need to let it face every day unchallenged. This is just one of things Relay For Life is all about - challenging cancer at dawn.

The Canadian Cancer Society's Relay For Life is a major annual event in the fight against cancer. At Relay For Life, we celebrate survival by honouring those who have survived; we acknowledge the endless journey by walking through the night; we confront the disease by facing the dawn together; and we share a great and moving experience.

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Relay For Life is a celebration of survival, a tribute to the lives of loved ones and a night of fun, friendship and fundraising to beat cancer. Relay For Life involves teams of ten who participate in an overnight, non-competitive relay. Participants take turns walking, running or strolling around a track. Teams are made up of people representing corporations, communities, families and friends. Teams set up overnight camps with tents, camper trailers or RVs and they have fun supporting a great cause. The event has opening and closing ceremonies with food and entertainment in between.

Cancer survivors are invited to walk the first lap of every Relay For Life event. This is called the Survivors' Victory Lap to acknowledge and celebrate their courage in dealing with the disease. A luminary ceremony is held at dusk to remember those we have lost to cancer and honour those who have fought it in the past or continue to do so. Luminaries are candles placed in fire retardant bags weighted with sand. Each bears the name of a loved one who has suffered with the disease. The luminaries light the track all night.

Relay For Life is a major fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. Teams and individuals solicit sponsorship and each team tries to raise at least one thousand dollars. This year, Relay For Life events in Ontario are expected to raise in the neighborhood of fifteen million dollars which will go towards research, patient support and prevention programs. In our area, the Canadian Cancer Society provides transportation to the treatment centre for those who need it, they operate a lodge near the cancer centre for people whose treatment spans several days, they operate Camp Trillium for children with cancer, they coordinate a peer support program for cancer victims and they contribute to broader research and advocacy programs.

This will be the first year for a Relay For Life event in Central and North Frontenac. It will be held at the Parham ball field on the night of Friday, June 1. More than fifteen teams have already been identified and several have begun signing up sponsors; challenges have been issued between two Sharbot Lake businesses and between the two municipal councils, and that's just a beginning. This is sure to be a fun event for all participants, including the forty to fifty volunteers putting it together. Why not be part of it?

- submitted by Bill Bowick

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