Warming up for another Relay for Life in the Bulkley Valley

  • Feb. 24, 2011 12:00 p.m.

The 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life is gearing up in Smithers, with organizers calling out for volunteers and team captain’s to sign up.

It’ll be a daylight event again, coordinator Angela Young said, running from 1 p.m. on June 4, and while festivities come to a close at 1 a.m. the next morning, the event will be finishing at 7 a.m. on June 5.

“Last year was very successful, we had a lot of people come out, a lot of families, older people, and it was because it was during the daylight,” Young said.

A lot of people just couldn’t make the all night long affair, as was years prior, so there was a real push for a daylight event, because while cancer never sleeps, we do.

As one who’s had cancer, Young can tell you that yeah, cancer doesn’t sleep, but after midnight it gets cold and you’re tired. You can’t beat cancer, she said, if you’re too tired. But the symbolism isn’t lost from the daytime event, either.

“The luminaries still burn until they burn out,” Young said. “And there’s still some die-hard people that do walk the track.”

It’s a very community minded event, with musical events throughout the day, performances from many groups throughout the town, concessions, businesses often donate prizes, plus all the participants walking around the track, it can get pretty packed, Young said, and is a great show of support for finding the cure for cancer.

“It is very much a community driven event,” Young said. “Everybody knows somebody who’s been touched by cancer, so it’s just one way to give back, to fight back, it makes a difference.”

Even if you don’t have a team you can still sign up to be part of the relay, Young said, either as an individual member or they will sign you up with another team.

“Everybody’s always looking for new team members,” Young said.

The office on Fourth Avenue is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or you can email smithersrelay@bc.cancer.ca for more information and to set up.

They’re also looking for volunteers, Young said, to help organize and run the event. It can be anything from undertaking a single event (such as coordinating food vendors) to just helping set up that day. Every little bit helps. They’re also looking for committee members.

“It’s just really good to get involved,” Young said. “Whatever you can put in, it all goes to the end to make a difference.”

Last year the relay raised over $80,000, a goal they’re hoping to beat for 2011. This year there will be a more focused look towards healthy living choices. Food vendors, she said, will have to provide healthy snacks and foods for participants.

Often other non-profits get involved with the food preparation, which is another way it gives back to the community.

“Keep it healthy, because that’s the way to prevent cancer,” Young said.

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