“We have close to 270 participants, and over 50 volunteers registered,” said event chair Merridy Martin.
For those not familiar with the Relay, it is an event that stirs emotions of joy and remembrance, and feelings of loss and resolve. The motto is “Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back. Relay for Life events are the single greatest fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society to fund research to fight back and find a cure.
While volunteers have been busy setting up this year’s site, teams can get set to star setting up camp around 4 p.m. on June 12. The Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 7 p.m., followed directly by the Survivor’s Lap.
This is one of the most emotional components of the program. Local residents who are in the battle with cancer, or who have achieved a victory against cancer will complete the first lap of the track to open the event. Martin says they have over 90 participants signed up for the Survivor’s Lap.
After that, there will be a team parade, and then participants will continue to navigate the track into the night while myriad of local entertainment will come on stage to keep spirits high throughout the night. There will also be a head shave for some brave enough to go under the razor to show solidarity with cancer patients undergoing treatment.
Another very moving ceremony that walkers and non-walkers alike can participate in is the lighting of the luminaries. These luminaries are small bags with candles that will line the track. These luminaries are in dedication to those who have lost their battle with cancer, or for hope for those still fighting the disease. When lit, luminaries are a silent inspiration for walkers. Luminaries can be purchased in advice from Scotiabank in Drumheller, or onsite.
The final lap is at 6:55 a.m. on Saturday, June 15.
There is still time to get involved, as a team, walker, sponsor or volunteer. Go to www.cancer.ca/relay/ and follow the links to the Drumheller event.