Relay for Life in Stettler back Friday

Relay for Life to help fight cancer with the Canadian Cancer Society returns to Stettler this Friday night for its second year.

“Our goal is to raise $179,000 this year,” said Brenda Esquirol, who chairs the organizing committee.

“We have 42 teams and almost 400 participants registered and close to 100 volunteers.”

Last year, $175,000 was raised with 49 teams and 502 participants – from toddlers to people in their 90s – in the event at the track at William E. Hay Composite High School.

“That was $50,000 more than our goal,” said Esquirol.

Relay for Life is a 12-hour overnight non-competitive event that involves teams of 10 people who take turns walking or running around the track.

“It’s an experience, not an event,” said Esquirol.

“Canadian Cancer Society raises funds to fight all 200-plus kinds of cancer.”

Relay for Life this Friday kicks off with a survivor’s banquet at Christ King Catholic Church hall from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and people must pre-register.

Opening ceremonies are set to start at 6:30 p.m. with messages from honourary chairman Kevin Stewart, the Town of Stettler and County of Stettler and guest speaker Barb Belisle of the Canadian Cancer Society.

The survivors’ lap will start the Relay for Life at 7 p.m., followed by the parade of teams.

Several hundred luminaries will be lit during a ceremony at dusk around 10 p.m. to pay tribute to loved ones.

Luminaries may be purchased for $5 at Scotiabank in Stettler or at the site during the evening.

Closing ceremonies are set for Saturday at 6:30 a.m.

“We’ll have entertainment all evening,” said Esquirol.

Last year, Stettler had the distinction of having the most teams for a first-year event.

“Stettler was chosen last year as a community to expand our signature fundraising event as residents have been very supportive of the event in Red Deer for the last few years and we thought it was time Stettler had a event of its own,” said Errin Young, coordinator of revenue development for the Relay for Life.

For more information, or to participate or volunteer for the event, phone Esquirol at 403-742-3407.