Coming off a successful “Relay for Life” event here last year, organizers have made a few changes they hope will elevate them over the $50,000 plateau.
First off, however, organizers have opted to move the event, slated for June 25-26, to Fort Frances High School from Pither’s Point Park.
With the ongoing legal dispute between the town and four First Nations’ bands over who is going to maintain Pither’s Park, organizer Cindy Homer said it was recommended they move the annual event to another location.
“It will be different but I think it will have some positive changes,” Homer remarked.
“With the weather, we have the gym to use,” she noted, though admitting the new site will cause some changes that they need to learn about.
Homer said campers still will be allowed to bring their trailers out for the night. The campsites have yet to be determined, but they will be on Fort High property.
Meanwhile, one new aspect to the event is the Survivors’ Dinner, which has never been done before.
Homer said not all of the details have been worked out yet, but it is a dinner for any cancer survivors and their caregivers.
Free of charge, it will be held before the annual Survivors’ Lap.
Those anyone interested in attending the dinner are asked to contact Jennifer Anderson at 274-4972 to register.
2010 also marks the first year there will be a theme for the event, which will be “Relay Around the World.”
“We thought it would give everyone a good chance to take a look outside of their community, province, and country and that [cancer] is something that hits outside of their own world,” explained Homer.
“Each team is [being] asked to concentrate on one country and are asked to decorate their site accordingly,” she noted.
“They can bring food along for such country, and I ask them to look up for their country the cancer rates and survival rates, and see if they have some sort of thing like the ‘Relay.’”
With hopes people will supply some food, the committee will donate money typically set aside for food.
With less than a month to go before the event, 25 teams have signed up so far, equalling between 250 and 300 participants.
“That’s almost double from last year,” Homer enthused. “We have had that many teams before, but not for a couple of years.
“Hopefully with that, we can raise double the funds,” she reasoned.
As in previous years, the event will run from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. and will feature activities to keep the people occupied when they aren’t walking around the track.
These include treasure hunts, volleyball games, and laser tag, as well as local entertainment.
Homer said any local musicians interested in playing at this year’s “Relay for Life” are welcome to sign up with her.
Lorne Nelson from Dryden is one performer coming back, as well as the Fort Frances Highlanders.
“We are at the stage of the game where we are going to focus on [entertainment],” noted Homer.
This is Homer’s fourth year being involved with the local “Relay for Life.”
“When we moved back to Fort Frances [from Winnipeg], we had just lost my father-in-law and thought it would be a great way to get into the community,” she said.
“I really believe it’s a great cause and people are pretty generous for it.
“In 12 hours, we managed to raise $40,000 plus and I don’t think that’s possible for any sort of fundraiser,” she noted.
“The numbers are pretty staggering with cancer, one-in-four people get it, and if a dollar I can help raise goes towards research for a cure, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that,” she reasoned.
Any teams interested in registering for the 2010 “Relay for Life” are asked to contact Cindy or John Homer at 273-9210 or online at www.cancer.ca/relay by next Tuesday (June 8).