‘Relay for Life’ raises $73,000

The second-annual “Relay for Life” did it again—raising $73,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Last year’s inaugural event raised $75,000 for cancer research and treatment programs, and the more than 400 volunteers on 34 teams demonstrated Friday night how local residents continually rally to the cause.
“I’m really happy. We did it again,” organizer Sue Danku said Monday morning. “We raised a great amount of money. For a town of just under 9,000 to raise $73,000 is just absolutely phenomenal.
“Any amount that is raised for the cancer society is wonderful but when a town this size brings in this much money, it makes me very proud,” she enthused.
“Last year when I heard the total, I almost burst into tears. I could not believe it. It was absolutely amazing,” said Jennifer McFarlane of the Canadian Cancer Society in Thunder Bay.
“[Fort Frances is] really the talk of the region, the talk of the province when it comes to relay for life,” she added.
“Fort Frances, as a community, consistently raises the equivalent money in relation to Thunder Bay,” Kim Metke of Pharmasave noted. “Thunder Bay usually raises one-and-a-half times what we raise but they’re 10 times larger in size than we are.”
A tent city was formed at Pither’s Point on Friday night as participants walked round the track for the 12-hour relay. The event was kicked off with a touching survivors’ lap, where dozens of cancer survivors of all ages where cheered on by participants and volunteers.
At dusk, about 1,500 luminaries were lit around the edge of the track to honour or remember those with cancer.
“This event has raised $4.2 million in 35 communities so far,” Danku told the crowd. “We need to find a cure and with the money raised tonight, I know we have a great start.”
The Sharon Angus team raised the most for the event ($3,202).
Noting the soggy ground, Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said people wouldn’t let the weather get in the way of a good time.
“It may be a little wet underfoot but what’s a little wet feet when finding a cure,” he remarked.
Linda Hamilton, of the Fort Frances Unit of the Canadian Cancer Society, said this continual effort definitely was needed to find an end to this disease.
She said she was encouraged by hearing of a new breakthrough in fighting cancer.
“But there are many cures to be found because there’s not just one type of cancer,” Hamilton noted.