Two local people with close ties to the Canadian Cancer Society are heading up this year’s Quesnel Relay for Life.
Pam Moorside, whose daughter Emily began her cancer journey at the age of 2 and Ray Kinloch who is a lymphoma and thyroid cancer survivor, are the co-chairs of the event.
When Erin Reynolds of the Prince George Relay organization contacted Pam, it was because she’d heard of Pam’s excellent skills and dedication. For two years, Pam had assisted with team development and spoke at the event in Quesnel of her daughters cancer journey.
Emily and the family have also attended CCS Camp Good Times in Maple Ridge since she was three years old.
“How Canadian Cancer Society has helped our family, I knew that when I committed I would do whatever I could to make the event a success,” she said.
“I want the event to run smoothly and for everyone involved to have a sense of pride in what we accomplish.”
For Ray, volunteering with Relay for Life is his way of giving back and a huge thank you for all CCS help during his cancer journey.
As a retired RCMP officer, Ray said he has the time and was happy to help out.
“This is my first time volunteering with RFL, but I’ve been a participant in the event for nine years, long before I had cancer,” he said.
“I was supposed to look after team recruitment and development and was expecting to do as I was told but ended up co-charing with Pam.”
The Relay committee is mostly new members and Pam said they are quite a nice mix, well-balanced from the community with all age ranges and everyone gets along very well.
“We share ideas and at the same time maintain the essence of the event,” she added.
With 21 teams committed they are only down slightly from last year’s number, however Pam said there’s still time for teams to sign up.
Ray added most of the teams are return teams but there are several new teams. Last year Quesnel Relay for Life raised $112,000 and the goal this year is to hit the $120,000 mark.
Many of the activities are participant-favourites such as non-stop stage entertainment, activities for kids and of course the very moving luminary ceremony at dusk.
Luminary bags can be purchased for $5 at
the new CCS office
south of town in the Fireside Heating building, online or the day of the event.
“These are purchased in honour of anyone who’s battled cancer,” Ray said.
Both Pam and Ray said they could always do with more volunteers.
“We’d love anyone with as little as an hour or if they can spare all day to share in this very special community event to call me, 250-983-7514,” she said.
For Ray he is particularly looking for people to help with set up and tear down.
Set up begins at 9 a.m. and must be completed by 10 a.m. in anticipation of the 10:45 a.m. opening ceremonies.
“And we start dismantling immediately following the final lap at around 11 p.m.”
New this year is a barbecue dinner on Relay day.
“This is for the entire community whether you are a relayer or not,” Pam said.
“We want people to participate on whatever level they chose, come for dinner and of course all donations are welcome. We want everyone to understand what Relay for Life is and how they can share in the celebration.”
Ray also wants to remind everyone that Relay for Life is a non-smoking, alcohol and drug-free event.
“Relayers should remember to wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and bring refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages,” he said.
“Bring an umbrella, strictly for shade, of course and everyone pray for sunshine.”
Both Pam and Ray say they are honoured to be part of the Relay for Life team and encourage the entire community to come to LeBourdais Park May 24.
“Fighting back against cancer is everyone’s mission,” Pam said.