The Comox Valley Relay For Life has a new date and will feature more fun nighttime activities.
The annual event is a chance to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones who lost their battle with the disease and fight back against it by fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society. Normally held in late June, Relay will be at an earlier date this year, on June 8 and 9 at the Vanier Track.
Local organizer Patti Mertz says Mark R. Isfeld Seconday School is the reason for the date change.
“We have so many teams that participate from Mark Isfeld high school and the later date starts to interfere with their final exams,” explains Mertz.
“It’s almost Mark Isfeld’s dry grad, it’s something that almost every student in the graduating class participates in, and last year we had 17 teams from the school.”
Mertz also notes a committee is busy thinking up fun activities to make the night go by quickly for this year’s Relay For Life.
“We’ll probably do a newspaper fashion show,” she says as an example. “We did this a couple of years ago in Campbell River and it was great. We had a Godzilla and a geisha girl — and we just give each team a whole bunch of newspaper and some masking tape, and we give them half-an-hour to create their best costume.”
She adds contest prizes are mainly bragging rights, but winners will likely receive a small plaque. Zumba and hula hooping classes are a couple of other possible activities.
Mertz says the event is always a huge success in the Comox Valley.
“It is so inspiring to see the passion that the people of the Comox Valley have for Relay for Life,” says Mertz.
“In some ways it’s tragic to see how virtually everyone has been touched by cancer and we have lost some wonderful people in the community, but at the same time, this event also celebrates all the people in our community that have survived cancer and it also symbolizes our commitment to keep fighting against cancer — and so it really does seem like the people in the Valley embrace Relay For Life in ways that you just don’t see in other communities across Canada and around the world.”
The Comox Valley’s relay was the fourth largest in the B.C./Yukon division in terms of the number of participating teams. Seventy teams signed up last year, which was a jump up from 63 the previous year. Mertz says organizers would like to reach 70 teams again this year.
As of Tuesday, 27 teams had signed up, but she adds volunteers will be at Isfeld school Monday evening to sign up the school’s teams, so she expects that number to quickly leap up. There will also be a team captain’s meeting in the school’s computer lab at 7 p.m. that evening.
Registration costs $20 per person, and can be done online. To register, or for more information, visit www.relaybc.ca and click the drop down menu to choose Comox Valley.