BY LINDSAY BRISCOE
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Relay for Life is going back to basics this year, with communities across the country focusing on bringing the relay aspect back to the forefront.
“In the past, our slogan has been ‘Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back’, and those are still very fundamental pieces of our relay, but our philosophy this year is ‘Ready. Set. Relay.’ We want to bring it back to getting people out and about, keeping teams on the track throughout the night, and really focusing on why we’re there,” says Jennifer Thurbide, chair of the Red Lake Relay for Life organizing committee.
“Through the number of relays across the country, that’s a feeling that’s been lost. At ours we’ve had a pretty high participation rate in the event so it hasn’t necessarily been something that’s impacted us locally, but it’s everybody’s focus this year when it comes to relay.”
Thurbide says participation in Red Lake has dropped since last year, however.
“We have a smaller committee this year and there have been some changes within the Canadian Cancer Society, so we were a little delayed getting the new information out to people. Last year at this time, we were a lot higher in numbers, but we are making up some ground,” she said on May 28.
This year’s relay will take place Friday, June 5 and will kick off with a survivors’ dinner at the Red Lake Legion. At 7 p.m., the opening ceremonies will begin at Centennial Park and will be followed by a group warm-up and the survivors’ lap. Team members will then start walking the track and will continue to do so until 7 a.m.
Thurbide stresses that the event is open to the public and encourages anyone to come out, support the teams, and use it as an opportunity to educate themselves about the CCS.
“Anybody who’s curious about the Canadian Cancer Society, or about the work that’s in the community, can come out to the event and talk to people and find out what’s out there. It’s not just about raising money. It really is a big awareness piece for our community when it comes to what support we can offer and what the money does to help.”
Marilyn Fell is the local CCS representative in charge of assisting those who have been diagnosed with cancer, and their family members, in gaining information as well as helping them access CCS services. She can be reached at (807) 735-3027. People may also contact the CCS Thunder Bay office at (807) 344-5433.
The 2014 Red Lake Relay for Life raised over $110,000.
2015 Event Schedule