‘Relay’ brings out best in community

This year’s “Relay for Life” is gearing up to be another success, with 32 teams signed up so far for next Friday’s all-night event at Pither’s Point Park and luminaries selling at a brisk pace.
The relay, which raises money for cancer research and support programs, involves teams of about 10 walking, running, or strolling around a loop from 7 p.m. on Friday until 7 a.m. on Saturday.
Each team must have at least one member on the track at all times. The deadline for teams to enter is Monday (June 23).
In the last two years combined, the local “Relay for Life” has raised nearly $150,000—an incredible amount for a community of this size.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. next Friday with speeches by NDP leader and local MPP Howard Hampton, Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, elder Gilbert Smith of the Naicatchewenin First Nation, and Kim Metke, owner of Pharmasave (the event sponsor).
This is the second year Pharmasave has sponsored the “Relay for Life” here, and the staff gets involved in many ways.
“Our staff volunteer to help pack the gift bags for the participants, they’re part of the luminary- lighting ceremony, they run a booth with a cancer survivor game, and we’re offering to take team pictures on site,” noted Pharmasave manager Nancy Kehler.
The store also is selling luminaries for $5 each, which Kehler said are “selling very well.” Only a limited number are available, so it’s important to buy one early.
“When they’re gone, they’re gone,” Kehler stressed.
Pharmasave also will hold a barbecue next Thursday (June 26), with all proceeds going to the “Relay for Life.”^“It’s just a really great community event,” Kehler said. “Cancer touches many people in the community.”^Perhaps the most emotional part of the evening is the “Survivors Walk,” which begins at 7 p.m.
The lap is a chance for cancer survivors to celebrate their triumph over the disease—and for their loved ones to pay homage to them.
Cancer survivors don’t have to be a part of a registered team to participate in the walk. Anyone interested in doing so should be at the relay site at 6 p.m. next Friday.
Sunset Country Métis and Couchiching First Nation are sponsoring the dinner for the relay participants before they begin their 12-hour endeavour.
Entertainment will be going all night long, including local bands “Crisis” and “Out from Under,” the Don Adams Band from Dryden, the Rainy Lake Highlanders Folk Band, a karate demonstration, a dance routine, and a DJ.
The relay ends at 7 a.m. on Saturday with a breakfast for the participants, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.
Organizers still need sponsors for team prizes such as best costumes or Theme, or most pledges.
Anyone interested in helping out, or taking part in the relay, should contact Jeannette Cawston at 274- 7284.