“It is a little slim this year for teams. We had to move the date by two weeks, there was a conflict at (St. Patrick’s School) the weekend we would have normally have held the relay, which was two weekends ago,” said Keri Griffith, revenue development co-ordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society southern Alberta unit.
“We lost a number of teams due to the date change being on some weddings and things like that, with actual conflicts. But, the great point about that is the teams that can’t participate, they are still trying their best helping out pre-event.”
There were 17 teams last year, with 13 teams confirmed this year, hoping a 14th is on the way who will register on-site.
“We can always take teams that would like to register on site. The fundraising doesn’t have to be completed before the event happens, you can fundraise afterwards,” said Griffith. “So if there are any people not wanting to register because they don’t feel they have any time for fundraising, we can help them out with post-event fundraising like garage sales or things like that.”
Relay for Life in Taber starts on Friday at 5:30 p.m. with the survivor dinner served at 6 p.m. at the St. Pat’s gymnasium followed by the Victory Lap at 7 p.m. at the St. Pat’s oval. There is the Celebrate Ceremony that celebrates cancer survivors, the Remember Ceremony remembering those who are still fighting cancer or have lost their battle, and the Fight Back Ceremony to make pledges/promises of how people are going to fight cancer in the next calendar year to the 2015 Relay for Life. The main stage will feature guest speakers, musical acts and dance and tae kwon-do demonstrations.
“There is a little bit of a concern it’s a 12-hour relay. I think the word relay gives people the impression there’s running. This is a 12-hour non-competitive team-based event. It is more about the ceremonies and the opportunity to fight back against cancer,” said Griffith, noting the event goes from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. “Our theme this year is sort of a Vegas extravaganza because it’s our seventh anniversary. We wanted to celebrate Lucky 7s with Vegas-themed games going on in our main activities tent. We have a young man who is going to be doing some close-hand magic for us which I thought was really neat.”
A portion of this year’s Relay for Life proceeds will be going towards the Ronald McDonald House.
“They are one of our partners with the Canadian Cancer Society and we are very aware this year that a number of our youth in Taber and surrounding area have taken advantage of their services and programs,” said Griffith. “We are really trying to do our best to raise some extra funds so we can make that donation a sizable one.”
People can go to relayforlife.ca or you can contact Keri at 403-317-4656 for late Relay for Life registrations.