M’CHIGEENG—Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) is hosting the student-led Relay for Life 12-hour overnight relay on May 30. This marks the fifth major cancer research fundraising and awareness event MSS students and staff have organized over the past decade.
Lead student organizer Jessica Jordison explained that MSS teachers were looking for students to help with the fifth Relay for Life event and she jumped at the chance, noting that her mother is currently battling cancer, so this is a cause that is close to home.
“We have a great team of about 10 students,” Jessica said, noting that she and her fellow organizers recently travelled to ‘Relay for Life University’ in Sudbury for a day of training. “It’s a real student-led relay. It’s a lot of work, but it’s completely worth it.”
The Relay for Life event, which is a fundraiser for cancer research, is looking for groups of eight to 12 friends, family members and co-workers to form relay teams. Each participant pays a registration fee of $10 and raises a minimum of $100 in pledges. Funds may be raised by individual members or as a team via bake sales, car washes or any other chosen strategy, a press release from the group explains.
On the night of the relay, Friday, May 30, participants will be assigned an area around the MSS running track to set up a team tent, which will serve as their team headquarters/rest area for the event. Tents should be decorated in the team’s chosen theme.
The relay team members may run, walk, stroll, or wheelchair. No rollerblades or bicycles please! Competition is friendly (and even optional).
Cancer survivors are individually introduced during the opening ceremonies and are invited to begin the relay by walking the survivors’ ‘victory lap’ around the track.
Once the survivors’ lap is completed, the relay participants join in. Each team must have one (or more if they choose) representative on the track at all times (half hour shifts are common). Teams may keep track of laps if desired.
After dark, a luminary ceremony is held. Candles that have been purchased and placed around the track are lit by participants in memory of those who lost their fight with cancer and in honour of those who have survived. These candles remain lit throughout the night.
Throughout the event, participants not on the track are able to enjoy a variety of lively entertainment and activities.
“It’s a great event and we’re helping so many people who have cancer and need the support,” Jessica said.
To register a Relay for Life team, contact MSS at (705)368-7000.