With less than a month remaining, the Canadian Cancer Society is asking people who have been considering joining the 14th annual event to step forward and accept the challen ge.
Krissy Rioux said only 200 people have registered for the June 11 event, half of what is needed to reach last year’s goal.
“Everyone we’ve spoken to is supportive of the event but we really need them to accept the baton and help raise funds for cancer research,” she said.
During 2015 an estimated 196,900 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer won’t wait,” she said. “Based on recent figures, by the time next year’s event rolls around some 80,000 people will have died. Through our research, we’re trying to create tomorrow’s survivors.”
She said a number of changes have been made to make the event shorter while still retaining the atmosphere of love, support and togetherness that has marked the event.
“There are a lot of ways to support the Relay but the number one method is to come out and become a participant,” she said.
“You can form a team, which we make extremely easy,
you can join a team or just come out as an individual.
Rioux said 26 teams have signed up for the event that will be held at CKSS. This year’s relay will be a six-hour event, beginning at 6 p.m. at the CKSS athletic complex.
“The move from a 12-hour format to six hours is to make the entire event more accessible and family friendly,” she said. “We have a lot of people who want to be involved for the full event but can’t physically do 12 hours, or have children and can’t make that commitment.”
The event will feature the same food, entertainment and family activities as last year, only in a shorter time frame.
“We’re finalizing the musical entertainment on the main stage as well as the children’s program,” she said.
“We’ve shortened it from the 12 hours the year before to make the relay more accessible,” she said. “We will still have all of the fun and events, we’re just going to compress it into a shorter time frame.”
The relay will feature the survivors and luminary laps as well as special laps featuring, glow sticks and beach balls.
Soccer balls and 80’s workout themes will also be incorporated throughout the night.
“We’re also bringing back some of the favourite features of years past including team signs and designated team sites at relay,” said. “We didn’t have them last year and they were missed.”
This year’s goal is to have 49 teams and 490 participants raise a total of $115,000. Last year’s event raised $82,000.
For information on becoming involved, visit the Cancer Society’s page at http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_ON_even_?pg=entry&fr_id=20263
You can also visit the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Relay-For-Life-Chatham-Kent-169320889757724/
or by calling the Canadian Cancer Office at 519-352-3690.