Plan to drop by LeBourdais Park May 26. You might notice the park is filled with people, festooned with balloons, ribbons, many tents, active people and celebratory activities; however, there’s always room for more and the public is invited regardless of whether or not you’re on a Relay For Life team.
This premier Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser reaches into every corner of the community, drawing on all ages, because cancer touches us all and fighting back is the Relay For Life motto.
It’s never too late to commit to a team, gather friends and family together, raise a few bucks. Register your team before May 23 and you’re in with one of the coolest community fundraisers of the year.
The excitement begins to build as teams gather at Integris Credit Union, May 23 to turn in the money they’ve raised and to receive their official Relay For Life T-shirts.
“Then the push is on for Relay day just three days later,” said RFL co-chair Michelle Godfrey.
“As the sun rises on Relay day, volunteers are in the park by 7 a.m. and you can feel the energy surging through everyone.”
She added, almost minute by minute the excitement is elevated as the balloon arch rises, the music permeates the park and the big tents go up.
“Teams can arrive as early as 9 a.m. to begin decorating their sites with tents, signs and a host of personalized embellishments,” Godfrey said.
“And just a reminder, if a barbecue is part of your site prep, remember you must have a fire extinguisher close at hand.”
Correlieu’s Interact (youth branch of Rotary International) RFL team are offering a fundraiser pancake breakfast from 9 – 10:30 a.m. in the area to the right of the Friendship stage. For just $5 customers receive pancakes and ham, a delicious way to start the day.
A survivor reception begins at 10 a.m., with food and refreshments leading up to the victory lap which begins the 12 hours of Relay, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
“And all day long the park is hopping with activities for everyone, including walking on the Relay track,” Godfrey said.
“In the mid-field, activities carry on all day long.”
She said some of the new activities include learning to play bagpipes, interactive self-defence demonstrations where the public is encouraged to participate, Zumba, belly dancing, community drumming by Nazko First Nations and a tug of war challenge between RCMP and the fire department.
“Teams are encouraged to challenge other teams to a friendly tug of war as well,” Godfrey said.
“There’s also lots
of health promotion
and informational material available in the park.”
There are children’s activities sponsored by Early Childhood Educators of B.C. and professional stylists from Outer Limits will again be shaving heads of those who chose to fundraise that way. However, anyone can spontaneously choose to go bald for just a $10 donation.
There’s also great food vendors on site, with
lots of variety, Godrey added.
“Many of the teams continue to fundraise from their RFL tents so bring some cash,” she said.
“With items donated by local businesses, drop by Circle ‘S’ Western Wear before May 25 to view our silent auction where you can make your bids early and often. On Relay day the silent auction is set up in the survivor tent between 1 – 6 p.m.”
RFL has partnered with the Salvation Army to collect canned goods for the food bank.
“The canned goods are being used during RFL in the luminary bags instead of sand,” Godfrey said.
“The canned goods elevate the luminary’s candle and secure the bags should it become windy. And of course provide needed items for the food bank.”
As the day moves into the evening, the dynamic Fight Back ceremony begins on the stage at 5 p.m. with the remember ceremony at 9:45 p.m. with the lighting of the luminaries.
And throughout the day, anyone with questions or concerns can speak with any of the leadership teams which are identified by the coveted red T-shirts.
“We want the public to remember though: no dogs, no smoking and no alcohol is allowed in the park,” Godfrey said.
“Having said that, the public, regardless of whether or not you’re on a team, is welcome to come and support and celebrate Relay For Life.”
Relay For Life is slated for May 26 in LeBourdais Park. Late registrations are accepted at the Canadian Cancer Society branch office on Front Street up to May 23. For information, answers to questions or how to become involved with Relay, contact Michelle Godfrey, 250-983-8815.