The annual Relay for Life fundraiser is fast approaching, as Rotary Park in Cranbrook will host the long running event for the final time on Saturday, June 4th.
After 17 years, organizers are saying that the 2016 edition will be the final year of the Relay for Life, as the Canadian Cancer Society moves on to other things.
“This is the very last year for Relay for Life in Cranbrook, so we really want this to be more like a reunion,” said Jennifer Smith, the Community Giving Coordinator with the CCS.
“This will be a chance for past teams to come out, we’re hoping they will bring down their old Relay team banners and T-shirts, because we want to hang them around the park, and just really celebrate and thank the community for all the support over the past 17 years.”
After so many years, Smith said it’s time the CCS move on to other things, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be any less visible in the community.
“It’s run its course,” she continued. “It’s been 17 years that it’s been in this community and as times change and people get busier — it started off as a 24 hour event, then 12 hours, now it’s down to six hours, so we just thought it was time to switch things up.
“So we’re going to move on to some new ways to engage the community, a chance to come up with some new fundraisers to get people excited.”
On June 4th, registration will open up at 3:30 p.m. before the Relay kicks off an hour later with the survivors walk. Smith says it will be an all day event, however, with entertainment from highland dancers and Stages School of Dance. Food from vendors such as Mr. Mikes and Canadian 2 for 1 will be available, as well as a 50/50, silent auction and kids games.
Jonah, a local 10-year-old with hair down to his shoulders, will be getting his head shaved, with his locks being donated to the CCS, which will be used for wigs for cancer patients.
Smith adds that there will be a hair dresser from the College of the Rockies on hand for anyone else wishing to show their support.
“Relay is to honour our survivors, we want to celebrate with them, we want them to know that we’re there for them. It’s a great way for families to spend the day together,” Smith said.
Another aspect of the event will be recognizing volunteers, past and present, along with local businesses that have supported the Relay over the years.
Smith adds that the CCS is still looking to add more volunteers to the event if anyone wishes to help out.
“If anybody is still looking to volunteer or donate something to the relay, we’re still looking for any help we can get, because the more help we can get, the better event we can put on,” Smith said.