Volunteer support for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life may have dwindled to the point that it was cancelled this year, but a few volunteers are keeping its spirit alive with a public event to raise awareness and funds.
The Family Fun Day to Conquer Cancer will run 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Millennium Park, with games for families, a walk on the community trails and activities on the nearby outdoor gym equipment.
“We want to focus on the health aspect,” said Julie Groot, one of the organizers. “We know activity is probably the best way to ward off cancer.”
The day will also include entertainment — with Emma Kade performing at 12:30 p.m. and Debra Mehrer, Eric Johnson and Joanna Wilson at 1:30 — a barbecue courtesy of Overwaitea Foods at noon, and participants forming the annual hope sign at 1.
As well, there will be a tribute to longtime Relay for Life kids’ tent volunteer Christy Johnston, who died last week after suffering a stroke earlier this year.
“It was really close to Christy’s heart, as well,” said Groot. “She really wanted to be involved this year. She was gung ho until she had her stoke.”
Cancer survivors are asked to wear yellow, and anyone wearing a Relay for Life shirt will be entered into a draw for a door prize.
Volunteers have also collected river rocks, which can be turned into memory stones when painted with the names of those who have fought or are battling cancer.
“It’s not just for people we’ve lost, but people who are fighting,” said Groot.
As with the previous relay, all of the funds raised through this event are earmarked for the area, to help with travel, accommodations and medicine.
“There are so many people in the area that are hit with cancer,” said Groot. “We just want people to know the cancer society is there to help them.”