With lower numbers and a new location, the Cranbrook/Kimberley Relay for Life smashed it’s fundraising goal, raising $71,000 this past weekend.
Approximately 148 people, forming 21 teams, came out to fundraise for the Canadian Cancer Society for the annual Relay for Life, which had a new venue this year at Rotary Park on Saturday evening.
Traditionally held up at the College of the Rockies, the Relay for Life debuted at Rotary Park for the first time, which was a good way to switch things up, said Lori Stevenson, team lead for community giving with the CCS.
“It’s an absolutely incredible showing from Cranbrook/Kimberley, as per usual. Cranbrook is such a generous community—it just amazes me every year,” said Stevenson.
“It was a huge change, but I heard nothing but overwhelmingly positive responses from everyone who was there. Everyone loved it, it felt so much cozier, homier. It was great for the kids because the water park and the play park is right there.
“…It was also nice for us to be central. You don’t happen to walk by the College by accident and say, ‘Oh, what’s happening here? Let’s check it out’.
“So that was the biggest thing for us, is that we were able to be visible in the community, so that increased visibility—we believe—will only lead to increased participation moving forward.”
Organizers also took advantage of the bandstand at Rotary Park and focused on featuring some of the youth talent, with many of the performers under the age of 18.
The top fundraising team was One Little Ginger, which included Katey Norton, the honorary chair of the event, which raised about $10,000 alone. CanFor Kootenay claimed second place honours at $8,000 and RBC Royal Bank of Canada in third place with $7,000.
Norton, who is a cancer survivor, opened the Relay by leading the survivor’s lap.
“She was really involved,” said Stevenson. “We knew she was the team captain of One Little Ginger, we knew she was a brain cancer survivor and that’s one of the reasons why we asked her to be the honorary chair.”
The One Little Ginger team is going to take advantage of a matching grant program with Brain Canada donate their money towards brain cancer research.