Relay For Life lives large
When Pilbara people really want to raise money for a cause, don’t get in their way – they mean business!
Last weekend, the Cancer Council’s Relay For Life Pilbara ran rings around McGregor St Oval in Port Hedland, proving that fundraising to fight cancer is a fabulous way to focus energy and raise a lot of money.
Communal energy was definitely out in force when this 24 hour team challenge took place for only the second time in the region.
The total amount raised by the 16 participating teams – more than $120,000 – astounded participants and the committee, who had been proud of the $67,000 raised at the inaugural 2011 event with just 10 teams.
Each team set up team theme tents and marked laps from midday Saturday until midday Sunday to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones and fight back.
Town of Port Hedland Councillor Arnold Carter read the Relay oath and his wife Frances, having recently been honoured with an OAM for community efforts, cut the starting ribbon.
In the meantime, a huge clock made by Port Hedland Primary School Year 1 students in Mrs Brown’s class was mounted centre stage and adjusted on the hour by participating kids.
A poignant Relay For Life ceremony of remembrance, which took place after dark on Saturday evening, was an undoubted highlight.
Pastor David Hooper led a candlelit reflection where all those gathered could think about those they’d lost to cancer, with “Amazing Grace” and local Ashlyn de Vos’ song “Lighting Light” filtering powerfully through the darkness.
Lap-making was also enhanced by DJ Tony, the ABC North West MC team, singers the 3Gs, the Dunvilles and hot pink Zumba dancers.
Relay For Life Pilbara chairperson Denise Bevins couldn’t have been happier with the weekend’s success.
“It is because of the efforts of all these people surrounding me that we have achieved such an incredible result,” Mrs Bevins said, also reiterating thanks for many companies who sponsored the event and who were acknowledged during the event.
Regional Coordinator Linda Malone was delighted with the Pilbara’s efforts.
“Under Denise’s leadership everyone did an incredible job, and I am sure you all agree an outstanding closing figure.”
Tarzan Loves Jane team captain Kristy Godbee will be back in 2013.
“Such an awesome weekend, the kids can’t wait to go camping at Relay For Life next year!”
Hedland Hotsteps’ Belinda Parker called it a brilliant weekend which she’s looking forward to repeating.
A final figure is impending.
Registrations for next year’s Relay For Life Pilbara open in about six weeks.