Relay for Life has been a key fundraiser in the Comox Valley for the past 14 years and the largest relay on Vancouver Island.
Well, times have changed in how people give, with online crowdfunding (i.e. Go Fund Me), and a number of great charities hosting events, and as a result Relay for Life has seen a dramatic decrease in participation this year.
“Right now we have 43 teams registered for our June 11 event and at this time last year we had 61 teams,” said Tracy Berg, event co-ordinator. “We also have fewer survivors registered for our Free Survivor Dinner and First Lap Celebration.”
The trend is not unique to the Comox Valley.
“We are seeing decreases in many other communities as well across B.C.,” said Berg. “Comox Valley and Prince George are the last 12-hour overnight relays, with all others going to daytime or six-hour events.
“So this may be our last overnight Relay for Life in Comox Valley, and next year we may have to switch to a daytime or six-hour format, so don’t miss out! Register today.”
There are a number of teams that have started some great fundraising this year, one of which is Ladies Who Fight.
“We are a mix of cancer survivors, fighters and supporters,” said team captain Terri Welsh. “Out of the 15 of us, eight are cancer survivors (seven breast cancer, one melanoma). We are all at different stages of our journeys but we have one thing in common: our hope is that one day no one will have to hear the words, ‘You have cancer.’
“So we are all participating in Relay for Life to do our small part to aid in that hope. Our entire team has been touched by cancer in some form or another. It affects us all.”
Already at $13,165, Welsh was asked how the team has raised so much money.
“To be honest I am blown away! Blown away by the generosity of our Valley, considering our goal was $5,000,” she said. “Up to this point it has been purely just asking people to donate — reaching out on social media, email, text — and the old fashioned way: in person. We are asking and people are giving. Generously.”
Relay for Life will take place this year at the Vanier track on Saturday, June 11 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. June 12.
Comox Valley is the #1 Relay on Vancouver Island. The theme this year is Rock Out to Knock Out Cancer, with XLR8 performing.
For more info on how to register a team or volunteer at the event, contact Berg at 250-668-6794, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.relayforlife.ca/comoxvalley
Survivors can sign up for the Free Survivor Dinner and First Lap Celebration by calling our local unit office at 250-338-5454.