BRENDA SCHROEDER / Independent reporter
If five year anniversaries are notable, then this Relay for Life is a special one for Ivy Bredy. Ivy is the Leadership co-chair for the Stettler Relay for Life and has been involved with the Relay since 2007, in Red Deer. Like most Relay participants, Ivy was touched personally by cancer, losing her grandmother in 2006.
However, as Ivy points out, most people these days know someone close who has had cancer. Ivy observed the Red Deer Relay for Life when she was working at the Red Deer College and thought it looked like something fun to be involved in but it was her grandmother’s death that inspired her to sign up.
The Relay for Life is a 12 hour overnight walk/run relay. Participants join in teams of up to 12. The Relay raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society, but it is more than just a fundraiser.
It is an opportunity to get together with family and friends and celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back in the hope of finding a cure for this terrible disease. For many teams it is a reunion weekend. Family and friends have the opportunity to come together in Stettler.
Ivy participated in the Red Deer Relay for two years and when there was interest in Stettler, she joined the Leadership Committee. This is the third Relay held in Stettler. This year, Ivy is also co-captain for what is likely the youngest team to be joining the Relay in Stettler. Her 8-year old son is captaining a team of 4 children that range in age from 7-9. He has participated in two previous Stettler Relays and is now following his mom’s step and taking a leadership role.
For Ivy there is a great sense of satisfaction in organizing a fun and meaningful event for others. When she thinks of the Relay, she gets in her head the picture that is taken from above the track: the luminaries lighting the track and spelling out of the word “HOPE” in the bleachers and the sense of community that is expressed by the people running the relay and the many tents set up for the event. It is a picture that speaks to an inspirational night of coming together to fight to make cancer history.
After three years of being part of establishing the Relay in Stettler, Ivy is pleased that new people are joining the Leadership Committee, bringing in fresh ideas. It gives her a chance to move out from behind the scenes and back to the track. She hopes that next year, she can be a more active participant in the relay, taking a break from the leadership role. It sounds like her son will ensure that she has a team to join.
Community members interested in purchasing luminaries (the candles that light the track purchased in to honour someone touched by cancer) are welcome on site from 5 to 11 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and see what the Relay is all about.
The opening ceremonies will start at 6:30 p.m. and the luminary ceremony will be at 10 p.m.
The success of the Stettler Relay is due to the tremendous dedication from all past and present Leadership committee members.
The relay could still use a few volunteers to help make the night a success so if you are interested in helping out, please don’t hesitate to call Ivy at 403-742-8766.
To learn more about the Relay for Life or to support one of the teams, you can go online at www.relayforlife.ca