Michelle Bryant of Ridley Terminals

Michelle Bryant of Ridley Terminals

Why Prince Rupert relays – Business community steps forward

Every year residents of all ages take to the track to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Every year residents of all ages take to the track to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

There is, however, one critical component of the community that can’t walk around the track — Prince Rupert’s generous businesses, industries and community groups. Though businesses can’t actively participate in the event, that doesn’t mean they can’t support it through financial contributions to the cause.

This year, as with others, there are a number of businesses that have stepped forward financially to help in the battle against cancer.

The event sponsor for the 2013 Relay for Life is the Metlakatla Development Corporation. This year, the group has donated $5,000 toward the Relay’s goal of putting an end to cancer. But Cathy Quane, one of this year’s organizers, notes that the members of the corporation have also donated their time to make a difference on June 1.

“In Prince Rupert we are proud to have the Metlakatla Development Corporation be our title sponsor again this year.  Also to note, they have registered a team of 15 people to fundraise and participate in the 12 hour event,” she said.

Ridley Terminals, whose employees volunteer and raise funds as individual members of the Ridley Coal Strollers, are donating $2,000 to the Prince Rupert Relay for Life.

“Ridley Terminals has sponsored this event for a number of years now. It’s definitely a worthwhile cause in the community and helps bring awareness to the importance of cancer prevention and screening,” said corporate affairs manager Michelle Bryant.

But it is not just industry supporting the cause as the Prince Rupert Tim Horton’s donated $500.

“Cancer touches the lives of pretty much everybody. It makes sense to back something like this because it affects so many,” said manager Devin Archibald.

Though not a business, the Ladies of the Royal Purple have been supporting the Relay for Life for a long time and have committed $500 to the event. Julie Stevens said cancer care and research is something that is near and dear to the hearts of her and the other ladies.

“I have a lot of friends who have been diagnosed with cancer, so this really effects me. It’s about awareness to people that we need research and treatment,” she said, noting the group can directly help patients with costs associated with treatment as well.

“During the Relay we’re planning to go together to participate wearing our shirts. Usually there are only a few of us, but this year, we’re hoping to have 15 or 16.”

Perhaps the best reason the Prince Rupert’s business community gives to the Relay for Life can be summed up in the words of Judy Levelton, who was on hand to accept the donations.

“I am a cancer survivor, so I am just lucky to be here,” she said.

Quane said having business support is indicative of the important work the Canadian Cancer Society does for those stricken with the disease.

“Having the business community support the Relay For Life demonstrates to the community how important the Canadian Cancer Society’s efforts are in fighting back against cancer, through research and preventative programs, support for those living with cancer through information services, financial assistance, sending a child to Camp Goodtimes and subsidizing accommodation at the Cancer Lodges in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and our brand new one, the Kordyban Lodge in Prince George,” she said.

“Cancer touches everyone, no matter what you do for a living.”

Other businesses that have stepped forward to pledge their support for the Relay for Life include gold sponsor Alan K. Hooper, the District of Port Edward, Hawkair, Prince Rupert Grain, Via Rail and media sponsors The Northern View, Astral Media and CFNR.

Much like the runners, donations from Prince Rupert businesses are added to the total raised for the Canadian Cancer Society. Through the support of businesses and the hard work of those volunteering to participate in the Relay for Life, there has already been $13,440 raised in Prince Rupert as of May 6

The 2013 relay will take place at the Prince Rupert Middle School track on Saturday, June 1.