The Stettler Relay for Life committee has made some changes to how the relay will run this year, in addition to the September date.
After receiving feedback from previous and current participants, the committee decided to make the event a “mini-relay” rather than an all-night relay as is the norm, explained Crystal Schierman, the event chairperson.
“We have lower than usual participation in part because people are concerned about walking all night,” she said. “Some of them come from further away and having to drive home in the morning is just too much.”
The group moved the event to September in part due to the weather earlier this year, and noted the change had received mixed feedback. Next year’s date will be announced at the event, and it’s moving back to earlier in the year, Schierman said.
The newly adjusted event takes place at Sept. 12 in West Stettler park, which can be accessed from the parking lot adjacent to the Rotary Spray Park. Schierman noted that while there is another parking lot on the other side of the park, they’re saving this for survivors and those who have difficulty walking due to its closer proximity.
Starting at 5 p.m. and running until about 8 p.m., there will be children’s activities, music and a barbecue that is open for all members of the community, not just Relay for Life participants, with food moneys going to the charity.
Luminaries will be lit at dusk as always, with the survivors’ lap starting the relay portion of the event. Until about 10 p.m., survivors, fighters, and friends will walk the paths in West Stettler Park as the relay.
“We’re making changes and we don’t know how they’ll work until we do them,” Schierman said. She said she hoped that the mini-relay change would entice those who were concerned about walking all night into taking part in the event.
People can still register to walk right until the start of the event, and can show up and register on site, she noted. Whether as a team or as an individual, money raised through the event in the way of pledges will go to the Canadian Cancer Society.