BY ANDREW SMITH
LISTOWEL – With just four weeks left to go, the eighth annual Relay for Life in North Perth is quickly approaching.
A team rally was held last week for the June 14 event at the Listowel fairgrounds, which Relay for Life chair Lauren Williams said is shaping up well.
“Everyone’s organized, they’re a pretty well-oiled machine,” Williams said. “I’m the new one, they’re kind of just dragging me along.”
Williams said there are 18 teams registered so far, and she would like to see another three or four registered before the day of the event. The problem with teams registering now is the difficulty in raising the required funds in four weeks.
“It’s getting late for people to register,” Williams said. “The later you leave it, the more pressed you are to do your fundraising.”
Teams have been busy raising funds for cancer research through events like garage sales and hot dog days, Williams said, with some teams like Central Public School getting creative by selling lanyards the day of the Relay.
“Just kind of low-key things that people are doing, that add up in the long run,” she said.
This year’s Relay for Life theme is all about sports, Williams said, which she said was chosen to bring more dads out for the event.
“Because it’s Father’s Day weekend, we wanted to do something to incorporate dads,” Williams said. “We just thought we would try and do something a little more male-oriented.”
The sports theme is being incorporated into any many aspects of the Relay as possible, from activities planned through the night, right down to the survivor’s tent being rebranded as the Survivor Stadium by organizers Heather Dafoe and Sandy Johnston.
“If it’s anything like their theme last year and what they did for the Rock and Roll, then I’m sure the stadium will be top notch,” Williams said. “They’re pretty creative, these two ladies.”
Dafoe said the choice to move the survivors into the nearby Listowel Agricultural Hall was made to have enough space for everyone, and some shelter in case of poor weather.
“We’re just trying to make sure we can accommodate everybody,” Dafoe said. “With the weather we had last year and not being able to do certain things in the tent.”
The Relay for Life survivor committee is aiming to have 100 cancer survivors for this year’s event, either registered beforehand or on the day of the event. Survivors are welcome to attend and show that the funds raised for cancer research are making a difference.
“They’re really the ones that we’re here for, it’s nice to celebrate the ones that have survived it,” Dafoe said. “Their presence being here shows that cancer can be beaten,” Johnson said.
Volunteers are also needed to lend a hand at the event, and are asked to call Sue at 519-291-2204, or Theresa at 519-418-7782.