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Relay for Life rallying for support

All set to go for great overnight event

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 06:00 am

RELAY MEMORIES – The Relay for Life, a 24 hour relay to honour those who’ve lived with cancer and raise funds at the same time, is ready to run on June 21.
RELAY MEMORIES – The Relay for Life, a 24 hour relay to honour those who’ve lived with cancer and raise funds at the same time, is ready to run on June 21.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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Plans are progressing slowly but surely for one local annual charity event set to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Relay for Life is a 12-hour fundraiser where participants walk around a racetrack because, as organizer Charlene Bouvier always says, “Cancer never sleeps.”

It takes place on June 21, a slightly different date than in previous years. Bouvier remains unfazed but rather bolstered by the change.

“That just means nicer weather than what we’ve gotten. For sure, no chance of snow, and it’s not going to rain!”

It’s also the longest day of the year, she continued, meaning the shortest duration of night.

“It does mean our luminary ceremony will be put back a little bit!” she laughed. The time of that ceremony – featuring participants lighting candles around the track as a way of making the track more visible but also to pay tribute to lost loved ones – has yet to be determined.

So far, there will be 10 teams with a total of 60 participants, two numbers that Bouvier hopes will still grow within the next month.

“We’d still love more. We’ve got a lot of Edmonton teams coming but we’d really love to see some new St. Albert teams. It’d be nice to get some new people.”

The St. Albert event contrasts from the one in the capital city because it’s “smaller, more intimate.”

There are numerous other features throughout the entire event to entertain and keep people’s interest. The Edmonton Caring Clown Society will be there, plus other kids’ activities will be available. There will be games and other activities (including theme laps where people are encouraged to dress up) to keep the walkers going throughout the 12-hour overnight period.

“Everybody loves bingo at 2 o’clock in the morning!”

An online auction will be held on the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/St.AlbertRelayForLife from June 2 to 8.

On the evening of the event, organizers will have both a silent auction as well as a live auction. Mayor Nolan Crouse has once again offered his capable services as the auctioneer.

Bouvier is also hoping to sign up a few more volunteers for set-up and take-down duties. At the same time, she encourages businesses and individuals to step up and make donations or offer sponsorships to the event, or offer challenges to others to help rally support for the relay.

She also formally invited any survivors to join the event, even if they’re still fighting cancer. Anyone who doesn’t wish to walk the course can still stop by and cheer on the walkers and enjoy the spirit of togetherness.

This year's Relay for Life takes place at Fowler Athletic Park in between Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Richard S. Fowler schools on Sir Winston Churchill Avenue. It goes from 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 21 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 22. Visit www.relayforlife.ca for more information.


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