Virtual Relay For Life a huge success

Altrusa Club members getting behind Mid Canterbury's virtual Relay for Life.

Mid Cantabrians took part in the first ever virtual Relay For Life last Saturday, raising more than $130,000 to help the Cancer Society provide practical and emotional support to people with cancer.

Rather than gathering in one place, Relay For Life teams met in their own spaces and marked the day their own way, with some walking laps in their local park, while others held small gatherings in their homes. Some of fundraising events were done in the lead up to the event.

Harveys Bakehouse team in action during Relay for Life.

There were 66 teams registered.

Cancer Society’s Mid Canterbury manager Annie Bonifant said more than 3000 people viewed the event’s opening ceremony on Facebook.

And after the candlelight ceremony at 9pm, many people shared photos of their own candles burning in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

“We were thrilled with the way our Mid Canterbury community embraced the virtual Relay Your Way format which was a new experience for us all,” she said.

Mid Canterbury Cancer Society’s cancer cops (Sharon, Annie and Mandy) were out and about collecting in Ashburton on Saturday and ran into media personality Dom Harvey.

“The funds raised will enable us to continue to assist those with cancer in Mid Canterbury and the wider Canterbury-West Coast region, and we are so grateful to all of the participants who carried on fundraising over many months to achieve this wonderful result,” she said.

Ashburton Property Brokers team put on a popular bake sale as part of their Relay for Life fundraising efforts.

Mid Canterbury Relay For Life committee chairperson Lester McLean said the committee was especially appreciative of local companies Argyle Welsh Finnigan, Property Brokers, Midlands Seed and Paterson’s Funeral Services, which together provided $10,000 to sponsor the event.

“This event certainly achieved the aims of Relay For Life which are to remember those lost to cancer, celebrate cancer survivors and those going through cancer currently, and fight back against cancer by raising funds to support the Cancer Society’s advocacy, research and support services,” he said.

Ashburton Contracting Ltd’s Kathy Jack, left, and Emma Prichard sold personalised glass tumblers as part of the company’s Relay for Life fundraising.