Castlegar Relay for Life exceeds goals

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
June 16th, 2010


The sixth annual Castlegar Relay for Life seems to have been a resounding success, cresting its fundraising goal of $50,000 … and donations are still coming in.

Tara Kowalchuk, West Kootenay regional coordinator, Relay for Life, said the event drew 291 participants, 33 teams, 44 volunteers and 26 survivors, raising $52,745 to date. The event was an al-night affair, running from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. last Saturday at the Kinnaird Park.

Kowalchuk said the success of the event was a credit to the teams involved.

“The relay teams in Castlegar had the most team spirit that I’ve ever seen – their tents and batons were all decorated, they were all in costume – they were really into it,” she said. “The teams bring the atmoshere to the event, so it makes all the difference.”

She said the atmosphere was pure fun, the seriousness of the cause notwithstanding….even the weather cooperated, with a sunny, cloudless sky.

“They had a Mr. and Mrs. Survivor, who were chosen through a jive dance competition, they had Karaoke, a rooster-crowing competition, a talent show, live entertainment – there was lots to help keep everyone awake,” she said, adding there was fun stuff for the kids, too, like an inflatable bouncy castle and a movie projected outside. Kids decorated cars made out of cardboard boxes in which to watch the “drive-in movie”.

Heads were shaved to raise money, and the emotional luminary ceremony to honour those lost to, or struggling with, cancer, was held just after sundown.

Themed laps – like a music lap in which everyone carried noisemakers – helped relay participants avoid nodding off during the night, and one team staged a pancake breakfast at 5 a.m., so the all-nighter ended with a hearty breakfast.

Of course, donations are still – and always – welcome. Just call the West Kootenay branch of the Canadian Cancer Society at 250-364-0403 or click here.

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