It’s time to put your runners on! June is national Relay for Life month across Canada. Victoria’s main event will be held on Friday, June 24th at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium from 6:00 pm until 12:00 am.
The relay concept originated in the States in 1985 when a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma decided to spend a night walking around Baker Stadium to raise money for cancer research. He raised $27,000 that night and the idea caught fire. Today 21 countries around the world participate in this fundraising event.
Relay for Life is the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual signature fundraising event. It honors the survivors of cancer and those that struggle with it every day. The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community based charitable organization of volunteers. Their mission is to wipe out cancer and to provide support in tangible ways to those living with and fighting the disease.
In 2015, 331 communities across Canada participated in relay for life activities and raised over 34 million dollars. The first Relay for Life event was held in Canada in 1999 and raised $85,000. We’ve come a long way in a short time.
Money raised is used to fund the most promising research projects for all types of cancer, provide information services and support programs in the community and to advocate for changes to public policy that will assist in the prevention of cancer and help those living with it.
Communities across Canada shape their events to suit their local needs. Events are held in arenas, stadiums, outdoor tracks, campus universities and virtual worlds. It’s a non-competitive event that brings teams of people of all ages and backgrounds together to take turns walking, running or wheeling around a track. If you can’t walk or run, come on out anyway. You can cheer participants along. Main events generally include a survivor’s victory lap and a luminary ceremony to remember those who lost the battle. Other activities are also included to keep people energized throughout the evening.
For more information on how you can participate check out Victoria’s Relay for Life website. Set up a team with a few friends and raise money for a cause that touches us all.