‘Relay’ teaming up with Riverside

Sarah Pruys

The local “Relay for Life” has entered into a partnership with the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, committee chair Jenn Anderson announced.
“Every dollar over our goal goes to the Foundation,” Anderson noted.
“The goal is $44,500, so every dollar over that,” she explained.
Last year, the local “Relay” raised just over $70,000. So if this were to happen again this year, then $25,500 would be donated to the Foundation while the rest would go to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“The Foundation has the option of [a donation from ‘Relay’ for] the next five years,” said Anderson.
“They get first right to it.
“The deal with the partnership is they can have the money as long as it goes towards a cancer preventative program or treatment program,” she added.
Otherwise, all of the money will stay with the Canadian Cancer Society, which will use the money to further research on cancer, fund prevention and treatment programs, and assist people and their families who are living with the disease.
The community appears pleased with the partnership since it means even more money will stay local.
“People are really excited about it,” Anderson enthused. “They like the idea that money is staying local and will go back to help the people here.”
She added the partnership will aid both the “Relay” as well as Riverside, which is about to embark on a major fundraiser to purchase a digital mammography unit.
“I think more people will come out,” she reasoned. “I think more people will donate in bigger amounts.
“I know we’ve got more teams because of it because people like to see the money staying local,” Anderson stressed.
“And we’re excited to keep money local.
“I think people, in general, are excited about ‘Relay,’” Anderson added. “We’ve managed to reinvigorate it, and get people excited, with the different activities that are going on.”
Interest in the “Relay for Life” was dwindling a few years ago.
“It just got old hat. We were doing the same things,” Anderson admitted. “I think the last three years, with the site change and the new activities going on, and getting the youth involved, [has made it new and exciting again].”
There are multiple teams from the high school—even though these students will be in the middle of final exams when the “Relay for Life” takes place June 15-16.
Activities are planned throughout the night, including “Relay Idol,” a scavenger hunt, and a frozen T-shirt contest.
These things, along with the Riverside partnership, have “managed to rebuild the interest and bring people out,” Anderson said.
“This is going to be one of the biggest we’ve had in the last five or six years, for sure,” she noted.
“We have 17 teams confirmed and registered, and another seven that are involved, so we’re on pace to do 25 teams.”
As part of the deal, Anderson said the Foundation is going to be putting in a team.
The Canadian Cancer Society, meanwhile, also is “very excited about the partnership,” she added.
They already work so closely with communities; this just provides another way through which they can accomplish this.
“They do so much with the money already, research and cancer programs,” Anderson remarked. “[About] 40 percent of the money raised stays local anyways.
“And it goes towards things like the volunteer programs and the wig programs.”
Much of the money also goes towards transporting and supporting patients in treatment.
Anderson also stressed it’s not too late to register a team with Anneda Chabot, who can be reached at 270-6263.
Teams should have 10-15 members, who are able to spot each other off in order to have at least one person going around the track at Fort High throughout the 12-hour period from 7 p.m. on June 15 to 7 a.m. on June 16.
“The survivors need to start registering for the supper,” Anderson added.
The “Survivors’ Supper,” which will be held at Boston Pizza earlier in the evening, allows cancer survivors to enjoy a meal sponsored by BP along with a guest before beginning the “Relay.”
Survivor chair Nicole Schault asks that people register for the dinner by June 13, and to provide a photo to be hung on the “Tree of Hope.”
A draw will be held for the tree after the luminary ceremony, with all survivors on the tree being entered.
“We’re always looking for volunteers to help with set up and clean up,” Anderson continued, adding the “Relay for Life” is a great opportunity for high school students who need volunteer hours to graduate or for anyone who wants to become involved in supporting a great cause.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact Sue Hansen at Gillons’.
The public is invited to the opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m., followed by the “Survivors’ Lap.” People are encouraged to come out and show their support.
Then at 10 p.m., the luminary ceremony, “A Walk To Remember,” will begin. Everyone is asked to join and light luminaries in honour or in memory of their loved ones lost to cancer.
Luminaries cost $5 each, which can be purchased beforehand at the Fort Frances Times, Gillons’, Pharmasave, the Clinic Dispensary, RBC, the Fort Frances Public Library, Energy Fitness Centre, and Emo Drugs.