SOUTH Gippsland Relay for Life is fast approaching but there’s still time to get involved by starting or joining a team or simply making a donation to the Cancer Council.
As well as raising vital funds for cancer research, prevention and support services, Relay for Life gives the South Gippsland community the opportunity to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and carers, and to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer.
The event involves teams walking laps around the football oval at the Korumburra Showgrounds, in a show of solidarity with those affected by cancer, from 4pm Saturday, March 17, until 10am Sunday, March 18.
The first lap of the Relay honours cancer survivors and carers, who take to the track and are acknowledged and supported by all in attendance.
The second lap invites all participants to walk together. Team members then take turns walking throughout the event to symbolise the ongoing fight against cancer. They walk through the night, as the darkness symbolises the fear that a patient feels when diagnosed with cancer. Candles are lit to remember those lost to cancer, and to celebrate survivors and show those affected by cancer that they are not alone.
Anyone can participate in Relay for Life, regardless of age or fitness levels. It isn’t a race or endurance test, so there is no minimum number of laps or hours. Teams are simply asked to have at least one person on the track at all times. You can walk at your own pace for as long as you feel like.
When not walking, participants enjoy the Relay atmosphere and festivities, visiting team campsites to participate in games, activities and entertainment, and a free breakfast on Sunday morning.
In the past, Relay for Life events in the South Gippsland Shire have raised $529,704 to help the 193 people diagnosed with cancer in the region every year.
Shane Maskell volunteers on the Organising Committee for this year’s South Gippsland Relay, the first to be held in Korumburra, and says preparations are well and truly on track, with 20 teams signed up and over $13,000 raised so far.
Captain of the Korumburra Fire Brigade, which has its own team, the ‘Burra Flames’, Shane says there’s plenty of room for people to join existing teams or start their own team, and encourages the community to get on board to support a great cause.
“Just about everybody knows someone that’s been affected by cancer in some form. It’s pretty personal for our team because we’ve lost some members of our brigade to cancer.
“It’s pretty close to home for a lot of people. All the money goes towards research and finding a cure so it’s a really good cause.”
You can register your own team or join an existing team online right up until the event or simply turn up and register on the day.
The registration fee ($35 for adults, $25 for youth, $80 for families) goes towards your team’s fundraising total and includes a free T shirt.
Volunteers are also needed to help with the running of activities. Phone 1300 65 65 85 if you’d like to lend a hand. For more information including event FAQs visit www.relayforlife.org.au
Join in the Relay for a very worthy cause