A Strong and determined contingent of teams took to the Rocky DiPietro Track in Sault Ste. Marie June 19th. With the theme. ‘A Little Bit country, A Little Bit rock n’ Roll, Relay For Life 2015 was a time and place to honour Cancer survivors, embrace those who are living their life with cancer, and remember the names of those who have passed as a result of cancer.
As Mayor Christian Provenzano shared with the crowd of Relay for Lifers, “There aren’t any of us gathered here tonight, who have not been affected and touched by cancer. Through our collective efforts, we continue to fight to make cancer history.”
As part of the official kick-off to Relay for Life, local men’s quartet ‘Four and A Chord’, led the crowd in a beautiful rendition of The National Anthem, ‘O Canada’.
The Survivors Walk, which launches the event as an inspirational’ and moving ‘call to action’, opened Relay for Life 2015, giving way to all of the teams, taking to the track, passing the Baton, walking to elevate the cancer conversation. Teams were also walking to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. The first Relay For Life event in Canada was held in 1999 and raised $85,000. Since then, Relay For Life has raised over $496.5 million for cancer research and support programs. Relay for Life continues to be the major fundraising event right across Canada for The Canadian Cancer Society.
Luminaries are candles that have been placed in special bags – they look like beautiful lanterns when they’re lit. Each luminary is dedicated by someone and carries the name of a cancer survivor or a loved one lost to cancer, along with a message of inspiration. The Luminary Bags circled the perimeter of the track, and walkers often stopped to read and reflect on a name inscribed upon the white paper vessel.
At each Relay For Life event, the luminaries are lit during a moving ceremony after dusk.
Money raised through Relay For Life helps patients and their families living with cancer, supports research funding and information services. In 2014 over 850 participants raised over $232,000 for the Sault Relay For Life. The 2015 fundraising goal for the Sault Ste. Marie Relay is $270,000. As of Saturday morning, the local Relay for Life website had reported that $101,551.87 had been raised up to that point.
There are 66 teams listed on the local Relay for Life webpage as participating in 2015. Congratulations to all of the Relay-for-Lifers. Well done.
The Top 5 Fundraising Teams are
• Rector Strong $16,603
• Phil’s Fans! $9,587
• CUREious Walkers $8,993
• Bank on a Cure $6,348
• Protectors $5,171
For a complete list of the teams, visit http://convio.cancer.ca