Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Trent also plays in the original recording of “Relay For Life.”

Helen Austin’s Relay For Life song an international anthem

Song was originally written for Comox Valley event in 2008

Anyone who has been at the opening of a Comox Valley Relay For Life in the past decade is familiar with Helen Austin’s song.

She performs it dutifully, every year, during the Survivors’ Lap, at the opening of the event.

“The person who was organizing it at the time asked me to put the idea out to the Songwriters’ Circle … asking if there were people in the group who would want to write songs for Relay for Life,” explained Austin. “A few of us did, including me.”

Austin’s song, Relay for Life, has become the unofficial anthem for the Comox Valley event, and has been used at Relay for Life events in other communities around the world.

“When I first recorded it (in 2008), I received all kinds of requests from people asking if they could use it at their event,” she said.

She said the song was an easy one for her to write.

“It really did write itself; I think it took about an hour or something.”

When Helen performs it at this year’s Comox Valley Relay for Life, June 15 at the Vanier track, it will be a family affair. Her children, Daisy and Charlie, will be joining her on stage.

The Relay For Life will run from 4 p.m. to midnight.

The theme this year is Hawaiian, so bring your favourite Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, and surfboards. There will be music, prizes, a draw for two tickets anywhere WestJet flies, fun activities, food from the Phat Parrot trailer, a head shave, and a festival atmosphere.

As of June 8 there were 37 teams registered for this year’s event.

There’s still time to register a team.

To sign up, or to donate to this year’s Relay for Life, go to https://bit.ly/2WrqhgY


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