Relay for Life turns back to Stettler Friday night

Determined to fight the battle against cancer, and despite fewer than half the number of teams from last year, organizers remain optimistic

Determined to fight the battle against cancer, and despite fewer than half the number of teams from last year, organizers remain optimistic for the fifth annual Relay for Life this Friday night in Stettler.

“This year, our goal is to raise $138,000,” said Trish King, co-ordinator of the local event and revenue development co-ordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society in Red Deer.

The relay raised $130,239.07 with 28 teams last year and generated $163,000 in 2011.

Organizers are seeking to exceed those figures for Friday’s event at the William E. Hay Composite High School track.

This year, 12 teams with close to 100 people will participate.

“We are excited to have this be the fifth year in Stettler and are very much looking forward to this being a great event, even though our numbers are down a bit, and we are already planning for 2014,” King said.

“Unfortunately, we are down in the number of participants and teams this year, but we are hoping to increase for 2014 by moving the event to September.”

The first event in 2009 attracted 49 teams and raised $174,000 toward cancer research.

Teams this weekend are made up from everyone from family and friends to groups from local businesses walking with their co-workers all night.

It’s all in support the Canadian Cancer Society, which is celebrating 75 years of service.

Opening ceremonies will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m., with the survivors’ victory lap at 7 p.m. featuring more than 25 survivors. A survivors’ reception is also scheduled.

Teams begin walking the track after the victory lap and try to keep walking all night until 7 a.m.

About 750 luminaries will be illuminated in a ceremony at 10:30 p.m.

Organizers plan to provide participants with a meal at 11:15 p.m., the fight-back ceremony is at 1 a.m. and the breakfast at 5 a.m., with closing ceremonies at 6:45 a.m. and the final lap at 7 a.m.

“Celebrate, remember, fight back” is the motto of the event.

“Relay for Life is more than just a fundraiser,” King said. “It’s a 12-hour event to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.”

For more information, phone King at 403-309- 5429 or email stettler.relayforlife@cancer.ab.ca.

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