Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2015 Pincher Creek Relay for Life raises close to $30,000

Toni Lucas

The Pincher Creek and District Agricultural Society Grounds was the site of the second annual Pincher Creek chapter of the Relay for Life on Saturday, September 19. This is a fundraising event to fight cancer which occurs all across Canada. The 12 hour relay was marked with camaraderie, sharing, song, stories, memories, entertainment and hope. Twelve teams participated, helping raise funds to be used to advance cancer research and support Canadians living with cancer. Including sponsorships, raffle sales, and donations the volunteers raised close to $30,000.
Team Brat Pack
Relay for Life and the local Ovarian Cancer Run worked in cooperation to make this a single shared fundraising event. There were raffles, games, and prizes throughout the day, and several local musicians and other entertainers took to the stage to provide distractions to those who were taking their turns around the track in the wind. Several ceremonies marked the days starting with the opening survivor’s ceremony and ending with the dedication ceremony, where the luminaries were lit and a single lap is made in silence to honour those who were taken by cancer. The luminaries were sold to those who wished to pay tribute to someone dear and close to their heart who has battled with cancer in any form. Many of the bags were decorated with names, drawings, and messages.

"It has been busy," said Karen Andrews, one of the organizers .  "There probably was six or seven of us that were survivors today, taking the first two rounds, but the most meaningful is the luminary walk.  There is always something going on, and walking, walking, walking."  Andrews was grateful for the many ways people have shown support for the event by donating time, money, effort and well wishes.  "They have all donated their time.  We have had many entertainers, from individuals to bands, and everyone taking part in the walk."  She mentioned the committee members who have been working for months were gratified by the response.

Participant and cancer survivor BJ Scott was raffle-lucky at the event

One of the many touching moments throughout the day was when team 'Get 'er Done!' won a prize for their costumes.  The consensus of the group was to give their prize to team 'Duty. Honor. Community.' comprised of local emergency workers who chose to do their relay in work gear including boots helmets, and fire retardant clothes.  "They were inspiring," said Maggie Olson, the Captain of ''Get 'er Done'.  Her team was moved by the duties these workers face to protect this community.   This event creates connections between people.  Whether the teams are comprised of friends, family, coworkers, or casual acquaintances taking part creates a lasting memories and sharing creating a stronger community.

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