The Challenge is On

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A gathering of Canadian Cancer Society staff and volunteers, survivors from cancer, families, team members and sponsors came together at Grand Gardens North in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on February 17th to officially launch Relay for Life 2016. With the theme, ‘Classic Cartoons’, Judy Cruz, Relay for Life Committee Chair, welcomed everyone to the launch event, inviting teams to incorporate the playful theme into their planning.

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20160217_171016“Classic cartoons can be whatever that means for a team. While many of us think of Looney Tunes and bugs bunny, the range of cartoons out there is vast. We`re excited to see what teams come up with for Relay this year.”

On June 17th, The Rocky DiPietro Field will fill up with tents and teams traipsing and treading along the track. Each step is an intentional effort to express solidarity with cancer survivors and dear ones lost to cancer. The annual Relay for Life is also for spectators. Community members who are not part of a team, are encouraged to come out. The luminary ceremony is an especially beautiful vision to behold, and moving opportunity to reflect on lives touched by cancer.

“Caregivers and survivors are invited to the survivors walk which happens at the beginning of Relay for Life each year. Janet Tallen is our honorary survivor this year, and we are so happy to have her on board.” said Judy. “At 5:00 pm, we will have our survivors reception. Relay for Life will, again this year, be a 6 hour event, from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.”

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Committee members include Joe Cruz and Rob Prenger, who are acting as logistical personnel for the event. Bright orange T-Shirts, donned by staff and volunteers will help Relay participants navigate areas like Activity Zone, Kids Zone, Mission Tent (formerly Fight Back Zone), Luminary Tent, Fuel Zone, and Survivor Tent.

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There will be live coverage of Relay for Life, with media sponsors Rogers Media, 100.5 Kiss FM and 104.3 Country, as well as Saultonline.com. “Your commitment to this is greatly appreciated”. said Judy.

“It is $15.00 to register, and individuals are asked to raise $150.00 to go towards life saving cancer research, information support services as well as the ‘Wheels of Hope’ transportation programme.” she said.

Alyssa Lake, Community Fundraising Specialist with Canadian Cancer society shared “Local Relay For Life Rally Sponsors, Super 8 Motel, Microtel Inn, The Property King, Northern Twisted Pizza, and/or Northern Twisted Art have donated some really wonderful prizes for tonight’s’ launch.”

“Luminaries can be purchased for $5.00 for someone you wish to remember.” The luminary ceremony takes place at dusk each year.

Alyssa shared tips & ideas for team fundraising opportunities, which include ‘Paint Nite’. A ‘Paint Nite’ event that Alyssa has organized for March 31st, 2016 has already sold out. “Paint Nites are a great way for teams to pull together a group of people.” said Alyssa, who is ready to support teams along their fundraising journey.

“We have a unique opportunity this year, in partnership with Rogers Media, Kiss 105.3, Country 104.3, and saultonline, to advertise any of the teams’ independent fundraising events.” Teams can share details with the media sponsors, which will then be posted and shared for free.

Harold Brohart, Brohart Family Photography donated time to come out and set up a photography corner at the launch event, and will also be at Relay for Life on June 17th.
Brendan Gassi donated his time to come out and DJ with some rockin’ good music. Grand Gardens North provided the space and tremendous food for the launch.

“#WhyIRelay Campaign is up and running now” said Alyssa “We’re looking for photographs and videos to support the campaign.” Teams and individuals are encouraged to reach out to the Algoma & District Canadian Cancer Society office. Carly Brown, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Alyssa Lake, Community fundraising Specialist, and other staff from the local office can be reached at 705-253-4781 or Toll-free: 1 888 930-8883. Email: [email protected]

Alyssa closed the launch by reminding everyone that “Every 3 minutes, a Canadian will hear the words ‘You have cancer’. Relay is a journey and we thank you for taking it with us.”
here: Algoma & District Community (Canadian Cancer Society) http://www.cancer.ca