On Saturday, June 2, ten teams made up of 125 participants joined together for the fifteenth annual Relay for Life event in Prince Rupert. The Relay for Life is held to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, to remember those lost to the disease and to fight back, by raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Prince Rupert’s event, which was held all day at the Prince Rupert Middle School track, raised just over $70,000 this year, which will go towards cancer research.
The relay began at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with an opening ceremony and cancer survivor and caregiver lap around the track. Throughout the day, while participants took turns walking around the field, many local bands kept participates entertained with music, while fundraising activities such as head shaving, and draws took place. Even the kids were kept entertained with face painting, and a huge soccer ball.
A number of prizes were awarded to cancer survivors, their caregivers, relay volunteers, and everyone in general. Prizes included a new television, travel vouchers, gift certificates, original artwork, food, and more. Prizes were donated from many local businesses.
The top fundraiser in three categories were also awarded with prizes, including the top online fundraiser, Jamie Malthus, the top fundraising team the Ridley Coal Strollers, who raised over $12,000 and the top fundraising individual, who was also the event’s volunteer co-chair Lanni McNeice, who raised approximately $6,700.
McNeice lead a large group of volunteers that helped the event run smoothly, including Cathy Quane and Jamie Malthus, who were both honoured for their five-years of volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society. They were awarded with a certificate and five-year pins.
Finishing off the daylong event was the luminary ceremony, which was perhaps the most emotional, and moving part of the relay. Luminaries are fireproof bags illuminated by candles that participants and spectators could purchase to honour a cancer survivor or remember a loved one lost. The luminaries were placed around the track for participants to view.