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Relay For Life in Courtenay could be biggest on Island this year

This year's Comox Valley Relay For Life is shaping up to be the largest on Vancouver Island.

This year's Comox Valley Relay For Life is shaping up to be the largest on Vancouver Island.According to local co-ordinator Patti Mertz, the team tally on Wednesday was 63 — which is the same as the total number of teams at the end of last year's event.She's expecting over 70 teams to sign up by the time the 12-hour relay starts on June 23.And "when you combine that with the number of cancer survivors that usually come out to the reception, plus volunteers and members of the community that come to take part in the luminary ceremony, we actually expect to have about 1,000 people on the site this year," said Mertz. "It's an exceptional year for the Comox Valley, and it will make this the biggest Relay For Life on Vancouver Island this year."The community of Comox Valley wants to take time to remember the people that we've lost to cancer, to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors and to make a commitment to fighting back against cancer, and I think Relay For Life is a wonderful opportunity for everybody to come and take part in that."Teams are usually 10 to 15 people and each participant is responsible for raising $100, or teams can fundraise as a group and pool their money together.Standard registration is $20 until June 4, late registration is $25 until June 22, and youth registration is $15 until June 22.And "if you don't think you can put a team together but still want to be a participant, you can also join one of the teams that has room still to take on individuals or a couple or maybe a couple of family members," explained Mertz.To see the list of teams still taking more members, visit, select Comox Valley from the drop down menu, click register and select a team from the list available.From 7 p.m. June 23 to 7 a.m. June 24 participants will walk the Vanier Track. Each team is encouraged to take turns walking laps with all teammates staying at the track for the duration, though Mertz urges people to participant even if they are unable to stay for the entire night.Cancer survivors are invited out to the pre-walk reception dinner, but they need to pre-register by calling the Canadian Cancer Society's Comox Valley unit office at 250-338-5454.The entire Comox Valley is invited out to walk the survivor lap (the first one) and/or light a luminary for a lost loved one.Mertz noted that most members of this year's organizing committee have been touched by cancer in some way — either by knowing someone who was diagnosed or are survivor themselves."And we know that some of our committee members have family members fighting cancer today and so for them it's especially important this year that we pull together and help fight this disease," she said.Visit for more