Relay for Life returned to Mingara Athletics Track on October 19 and 20 with hundreds of locals from all walks of life turning up to take part.
A community fundraising event for Cancer Council NSW, Relay for Life challenges teams of people to come together and relay for 24 hours straight, to signify that cancer never rests and neither should they in the fight against it. Organised by a team of passionate volunteers, the event was broken down into several parts, including the pre-relay, where participants gathered to get to know one another and take part in some additional fundraising activities like trivia over a morning tea as the final preparations for the relay were made.
This was followed by the opening ceremony where relayers learned who, how and where their fundraising would be going/supporting. Next came the Lap of Honour, a special lap at the heart of Relay for Life events everywhere, where Guests of Honour, those battling cancer, those who recently lost someone to the disease and other special guests made the first lap. After that, the relay proper begans, with teams lining up to take on the challenge, swapping with teammates at scheduled intervals. While that was going on, a number of activities were set up around the track for relayers not currently on the move to enjoy while they were waiting to tag in, including music, food and drink and cancer information stalls.
Once the sun set the Relay After Dark got underway, when organisers broke out the glow sticks to keep morale up as the sky darkened. A candlelight ceremony also took place with relayers reflecting on those they had lost to cancer by lighting a candle in their honour.
The event concluded with the final lap, where everyone still present was encouraged to take their final turn around the track before the closing ceremony got underway, where significant achievements of fundraisers were made known, and supporters and volunteers who helped make the event happen acknowledged for their efforts. It was during this that Mingara Relay for Life committee member, Kylie Brooks, revealed the funds raised, with relayers making $154,490 and counting. The funds raised will be delivered to the Cancer Council to put towards cancer research and cancer patient care programs.
Source: Websites, Oct 19-20 Kylie Brooks, Mingara Relay for Life Dilon Luke, Journalist