Aiming for best in Canada
Trevor Patenaude thinks it’s time for Prince George to be tops in Canada in a positive category.
Mind you, the committee chair of the Prince George Relay for Life is quite happy with the local event being second best – for now.
“We should be singing in the streets about being Number 2,” he said at a press conference Wednesday at the Canadian Cancer Society office. “There are over 500 relays across the country, and we raised the second-highest total.”
But he, and the rest of the committee for the May 11 and 12 Relay for Life, have set a loftier goal.
“We’ve had a friendly challenge in the past with other places,” said team lead Helen Owen. “It’s always been an unofficial thing.
“Until this year.”
So is it the “friendly” or the “unofficial” that is changing? Owen laughs.
“It will always be friendly,” she emphasizes. “It’s just now it is a bit more competitive.”
The challenge is aimed specifically at Coquitlam, which raised the most money in Canada at its 2012 Relay for Life.
“I was somewhat surprised to find the Top 2 fundraisers in the B.C./Yukon region were also the Top 2 in Canada,” said Owen.
Mayor Shari Green said while the challenge was to be tops in Canada, people had to remember the reason for the Relay.
“It’s an important thing for everyone in the community, but it can be a fun event as well.”
Last year, the Prince George Relay for Life raised more than $490,000 with more than 1,600 participants. Coquitlam raised about $550,000, with fewer participants. Patenaude said the challenge was not just to Coquitlam, but to Prince George as well.
“I believe in every person, in every business in Prince George. We have to show we are the fundraising capital of Canada.”
So far, team entries have been slow, he said, but that is starting to change.
“I started phoning people (Tuesday) night, and almost everyone said, ‘Is that only a few months away? I’ll get our team together’.”
Any team registering with 10 or more participants before Jan. 31 will be entered into a draw to enjoy a luxury tent during the relay.
“It can get a little chilly in May in Prince George,” Patenaude hinted, “and the tent comes with heat, some sofas, everything you need.”
Canadian Cancer Society regional director Margaret Jones-Bricker emphasized the importance of the Relay for Life.
“It is important as our signature event across Canada. It provides much of the funding for the programs we provide.”
Anyone looking for more information on the 2013 Relay for Life or wanting to register a team can go to www.relaybc.ca.